“We talked about the importance of building a movement that is inclusive, but recognising that the unity of the 99% must be a complex unity. Movements in the past have primarily appealed to specific communities. Whether workers, students, black communities, Latino communities, women, LGBT communities, indigenous people, or these movements have been organised around specific issues. Like the environment, food, water, war, the prison-industrial complex. Speaking of the prison-industrial complex. This is the movement I have been personally associated with. We have tried to call attention to the inoperable damage prison and the prison-industrial system has inflicted on our community. So we have called for a reduction of the prison population. Decarceration - decarcerate Pennsylvania. And we have called for the eventual abolition of prisons as the dominant mode of punishment. But we have also called for the revitalisation of all our communities. We have called for education, health care, housing, jobs, hope, justice, creativity, equality, freedom! We move from the particular to the general. We have come together as the 99%. There are major responsibilities linked to your decision to assemble here in communities. How can you be together? I evoke once more Audre Lorde. Differences must not be merely tolerated but seen as a fund of polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Finally, let me say a few words about my home town, Oakland, California. You have heard about the police assault. Scott Olsen remains in the hospital. Oakland General Assembly met in the renamed park Oscar Grant Park and responded by calling for a general strike on November 2nd. Many unions have already supported the call. I end by sharing the language of the poster: decolonise Oakland. We are the 99%. We stand united. November 2nd, 2011, general strike, no work, no school, occupy everywhere. Occupy everywhere.”—Angela Davis at Occupy Philly
[I]f the SoE goes beyond December a siege mentality by citizens likely will develop. Not only this, the criminals will adapt to the new security dispensation, and the equivalent of the law of diminishing returns in security terms will begin to manifest itself.
Moreover, the longer the SoE the greater the likelihood of a negative impact on external relations, whether for tourism and business. In this respect, the government risks stirring both commercial and social wrath if the SoE goes into the Christmas season and then spills over into carnival preparation. Beyond these risk areas, regardless of the duration of the SoE, unless Trinidad’s leaders address meaningfully some of the conditions that conduce to drugs and crime—criminal gangs, pockets of poverty, and social anomie—they might find it necessary to declare more Emergencies in the future.
This applies to other Caribbean nations; others facing tough challenges may consider the expediency or necessity for States of Emergency. Indeed, leaders in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Guyana publicly endorsed Trinidad’s move, those in St. Lucia acknowledged having considered declaring one earlier this year, and the opposition People’s Action Movement in St. Kitts and Nevis called for one there.
was to accept these claims. The first chapter reads like a paean to the bourgeoisie, crediting them with a thoroughgoing revolution and transformation in every aspect of life:
"The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, making river-traffic possible, whole populations conjured out of the ground–what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?" (p.66)
Marx and Engels portray capitalism as a revolutionary and inevitable force, and then communism as a further inevitable revolution. Later, when in the reflective-historical mode of the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
Anthropology cannot make the mistake of accepting the capitalist fairy tale. We must challenge each part of the fable. “When powerful financiers, politicians, and economists tell billions of humans that they should adopt the market as sole social regulator, anthropologists are well placed to show that what is presented as a logical necessity is actually a choice” (Trouillot, p.138).
Fortunately anthropology has a four-field rebuttal to the four parts of the fable.
“We owe it to ourselves and to our interlocutors to say loudly that we have seen alternative visions of humankind–indeed more than any academic discipline–and that we know that this one … that constructs economic growth as the ultimate human value … may not be the most respectful of the planet we share, nor indeed the most accurate nor the most practical. We also owe it to ourselves to say that it is not the most beautiful nor the most optimistic.”—–Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Global Transformations, p.139
'Rebels on the Street: The Party of Wall Street Meets its Nemesis' by David Harvey
"The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally (as opposed to partially) dominated the policies of Presidents over at least four decades (if not longer), no matter whether individual Presidents have been its willing agents or not. It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both political parties upon its raw money power and upon access to the mainstream media that it controls. Thanks to the appointments made and approved by Presidents and Congress, the Party of Wall Street dominates much of the state apparatus as well as the judiciary, in particular the Supreme Court, whose partisan judgments increasingly favor venal money interests, in spheres as diverse as electoral, labor, environmental and contract law.
The Party of Wall Street has one universal principle of rule: that there shall be no serious challenge to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely. And that power is to be exercised with one objective. Those possessed of money power shall not only be privileged to accumulate wealth endlessly at will, but they shall have the right to inherit the earth, taking either direct or indirect dominion not only of the land and all the resources and productive capacities that reside therein, but also assume absolute command, directly or indirectly, over the labor and creative potentialities of all those others it needs. The rest of humanity shall be deemed disposable…
…In the face of the organized power of the Party of Wall Street to divide and rule, the movement that is emerging must also take as one of its founding principles that it will neither be divided nor diverted until the Party of Wall Street is brought either to its senses – to see that the common good must prevail over narrow venal interests – or to its knees. Corporate privileges to have all of the rights of individuals without the responsibilities of true citizens must be rolled back. Public goods such as education and health care must be publically provided and made freely available. The monopoly powers in the media must be broken. The buying of elections must be ruled unconstitutional. The privatization of knowledge and culture must be prohibited. The freedom to exploit and dispossess others must be severely curbed and ultimately outlawed.”
"A big mistake is to think that because the protesters tend to be youthful it follows that they should be treated like children. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, has made that error by suggesting to the campers that they ought to leave in return for a debate under the dome of St Paul’s – gosh, thanks my Lord Bishop. He further asks them to go on the grounds that: "I am involved in ongoing discussion with City leaders about improving shareholder influence on excessive remuneration."
I am sure that the bishop is well-meaning, but that is not going to cut it. There has been “ongoing discussion” for years. The result, according to the latest report by Incomes Data Services: Britain’s top executives gave themselves a 49% increase in their salaries, benefits and bonuses in the past year. It does not even occur to the business and financial elite that it might be good old cynical public relations to moderate their greed while so many of their fellow citizens are suffering the consequences of corporate follies.
Who is truly the more adult: the protesters or an establishment that regards itself as older and wiser? The protesters have largely been very decorously behaved. They have thus far displayed no propensity to riot or to loot. Their tents are erected in rather neat rows. They hold laboriously consensus-seeking meetings at which they keep minutes and take votes. Their spokespeople are polite and articulate. If they do not have all the answers, they are at least posing some of the right questions. I don’t see why they should be criticised for the absence of a manifesto when the leaders of Europe spent months quarrelling and flailing over the euro crisis before scrabbling together an expensively botched compromise.
The protesters shun formal leaders and hierarchies – and I also don’t see why they should be criticised for this at a time when conventional leaders and hierarchies have been so conspicuously useless. Here are some recent scenes in establishment politics. Silvio Berlusconi displays his incomparable charms by describing Angela Merkel as “culona ichiavabile” (“an unfuckable lard arse”). Rick Perry, contender to become Republican candidate for the great office of president of the United States, questions where Barack Obama was born five months after the White House released his long-form birth certificate, and excuses himself by saying: “It’s fun to poke at him.” A punch-up breaks out on the floor of the Italian parliament between one right-wing member of the government and an even more right-wing member. Nicolas Sarkozy tells David Cameron to “shut up” because he is “sick” of him. David Cameron elevates the tone at prime minister’s questions by shouting: “Complete mug!” at Ed Miliband.
Protesters or leaders? I know who looks the more grown-up.”
Before gas goes into a crowd shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no bullshit assault. 3 warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used. Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines. Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd ( by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off ). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!!
How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.
International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas
1. What is degrowth?
This is not an economic depression, nor a recession, but a decline in the importance of the economy itself in our lives and our societies.
This is not the decline of GDP, but the end of GDP and all other quantitative measures used as indicators of well being.
This is not a decline in population size, but a questioning of humanity’s self-destructive lifestyle.
This is not a step backwards, but an invitation to step aside, out of the race in pursuit of excessiveness.
This is not nostalgia for some golden age, but an unprecedented project to invent creative ways of living together.
This is not degrowth imposed by the depletion of the biosphere’s resources, but a voluntary degrowth, to live better here and now, preserving the conditions necessary for the long-term survival of humanity.
This is not an end in itself, but a necessary step in the search for models depicting free societies, liberated from the dogma of growth.
This is not a project of voluntary deprivation and impoverishment, but an attempt to find a “better life”, based on simplicity, restraint, and sharing.
This is not “sustainable development”, but a rejection of capitalism, no matter if it is “green” or “socially just”, and no matter if it has State-run or private enterprises.
This is not ecofascism, but a call for a democratic revolution to end our productivist-consumerist model of society.
This is not voluntary simplicity, but a revolutionary political project that implies the adoption of the principles of voluntary simplicity on the individual level.
This is not is not an “anti-modern” movement, but a “neo-modern” movement, based on respect for the values of freedom and equality.
In summary, degrowth is a call for a radical break from traditional growth-based models of society, no matter if these models are “left” or “right”, to invent new ways of living together in a true democracy, respectful of the values of equality and freedom, based on sharing and cooperation, and with sufficiently moderate consumption so as to be sustainable.
From the website for the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas to be held in Montreal the 13-19th of May, 2012. I want to go.
"Prevailing wisdom would suggest that opposition is essential to change. Put in Hegelian terms, a thesis meets its antithesis in order to create a synthesis. Tit for tat. Action is met with reaction. For example, the government or big business or whomever does something you dislike, so you protest. They throw a punch, so you throw a punch. Back and forth. Eventually, this way of thinking tries to convince us, the tides will change. Eventually my punch will be the knockout punch, and those aggressive forces that pushed me to react will meet their doom. (“And the meek shall inherit the earth.”)
This is, unfortunately, a fantasy. Action will always prevail. Reaction will always fail. (Did protest end the war in Vietnam? Did protest stop the war in Iraq? Did protest stop the destruction of collective bargaining in Wisconsin recently? – No. It did not. Why? Because protest is reactive, not active; it is negative rather than affirmative; it assumes the subordinate position “I am against X!” rather than the dominate position “I am for X!”) It is the myth Nietzsche exposes in his groundbreaking and devastating Genealogy of Morals, a book that is central to my understanding of Deleuze’s ethical applicability. For Nietzsche, Deleuze, and myself, direct engagement is a mistake. Diffuse or indirect engagement is preferable. Diagonal rather than horizontal or vertical attack. Non-Euclidean game plans. Rhizome rather than root, molecular rather than molar, dynamic rather than static: reroute the flow of power toward new creative constructions. Think of it like a tug of war: the opposition relies on your engagement, on your antithesis. Without it, they would fall on their butts in the same way a person would fall on their butt if you were playing tug of war and suddenly let go of your end of the rope. By engaging with the opposition you merely serve to validate and empower that opposition. The only form of power one can truly wield is the power of action, of affirmation, of creation. Let go of the rope! You’re tired of going to the grocery store and finding fruits and vegetables from overseas, which have been treated with cancer-causing chemicals? Don’t bother fussing with the management or writing a letter to your congressman…let go of the rope and go build an organic community garden. Action. Creation. Do not be duped into thinking that you can win a battle against the powers that be – they are the powers that be because they took action, because they created something.
This also imbricates Spinoza’s view of ethics, which serves as the other major pillar of my understanding of Deleuze’s ethical applicability. For both thinkers, affirmation engenders creation and negation engenders destruction.
In everyday life, this means reconsidering our actions. It means asking oneself: am I acting or am I reacting? Am I creating or am I destroying? Am I affirming or am I negating?”
How could someone who had lived in the United States from the age of eight, who had been so central to black and communist political organising throughout the 1930s and 1940s, up to the mid 1950s, simply disappear? How could such a popular public figure, an active journalist and public speaker, a close friend of Paul and Eslanda Goode Robeson, a housemate of Lorraine Hansberry, mentored by W.E.B. Du Bois, remain outside of major consideration? How could someone who was so central to Caribbean diaspora community organising abroad, the founder of the London Carnival and of one of the first black newspapers in London, the West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian-Caribbean News, a close friend of Amy Ashwood Garvey, a female political and intellectual equivalent of C.L.R. James, remain outside the pool of knowledge of Caribbean intellectual history?
Pause for breath. These are good questions. In its crusading zeal, Left of Karl Marx doesn’t really get around to answering them. But it certainly shows why they need to be asked.
Defined as a leading black feminist scholar for her work on developing black feminist thought, bell hooks clearly also had a blind spot regarding third world feminisms, which disappear from her formulations, except, perhaps, in “Third World Diva Girls: Politics of Feminist Solidarity.” 16 While the essay claimed to work toward “feminist solidarity between black women/women of color” (94), it homogenized all “third world women” into some generic “third world woman.” In this formulation, clearly no room exists for black feminist discourse in some sort of transnational context.
Again, speaking of its limits, and not devaluing its contributions, it is helpful to examine the underlying principles of the work of Patricia Hill Collins. In her Black Feminist Thought one is even more struck by the way in which the definitions of black feminism are circumscribed by U.S. nation-state, patriotic Americanism; the ways in which racial discourse in the United States consistently effaces “transnational Afro- diasporism.”“Thus she dismisses the analyses of internal colonialism that would link African American populations in the United States more solidly to the discourses of African diaspora. Her essay “Learning from the Outsider Within: The Social Significance of Black Feminist Thought” is perhaps most instructive. It is based entirely on a position grounded in U.S. parochialism and by its very construction marks the limits of “outsider within” positionality. Beginning with the case of the domestic worker who knows the house better than the mistress allows her to construct black feminist intellectuals within a similar relationship to white feminists. The subject of the address is white women, with a U.S. definition of naturalized, essentialized race as marker, which thus allows her to develop what she calls “standpoint epistemology,” that is, that U.S. black women as a group all see the world from a particular angle. It is only logical that the discourse will turn in onto itself in her formulation of Afrocentric feminism
”—Carole Boyce Davies. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (via weexist-weresist)
“When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?”—
reblogged for the extra commentary
Sandi Toksvig WILL ALWAYS AND FOREVER REBLOG THIS QUOTE
I’m taking a class called The Archaeology of Sex and Gender (I’m an anthropology and art history major), and we were studying female figurines from the Neolithic era. Some girl in my class brought up the point that when male figurines with giant phalli were discovered, they were interpreted by academics as symbols of power. When female figures with giant vulvas were discovered, they were interpreted by academics as symbols of fertility. “Why can’t the giant vulva be a symbol of power too?” she asked.
It blew my mind and reaffirmed my decision to study anthropology and art history.
This reminds me of a conversation a friend and I had recently about our work. She’s in the very early stages of writing her dissertation on scribes in early medieval England, specifically female scribes. One of the things we vented about was the universal assumption that men copied the vast majority of manuscripts in the period, when there’s actually very, very little evidence to suggest that level of exclusivity. There are very few manuscripts we know for a fact were copied by men, and most are anonymous. And if you look at the nature of religious institutions in England and the status of women between 700-1000ish, 1.) quite a few monasteries were founded by aristocratic women; 2.) many were dual houses, which housed both male and female religious, and some of those houses were politically influential—and also headed by women—and thus were likely to have access to good libraries; 3.) there is evidence that women in important institutions were reading and writing correspondence in Latin; and 4.) there is also evidence that noble women were patrons of book production and literate themselves (in the vernacular if not in Latin), because wills from the period survive in which women bequeath their libraries to various people. None of this is concrete, but I don’t think it’s a leap to argue that it’s almost just as likely any given anonymous copyist could as easily be a woman as a man. But in manuscript studies, the assumption is always that, unless the text might have some “obvious” interest to women, the copyist is a man. Which is pretty damn ridiculous, and just another reminder that the effacement of women’s contributions to civilization and the transmission (and generation!) of knowledge is an ongoing process of willful forgetting, as well as ignorance.
The same thing goes in my field (Theology and Biblical Studies) except maybe even more so, because the Bible openly acknowledges women who held a great deal of social and economic power in both the Old and New Testaments- and yet they are routinely glossed over by scholarship and indeed erased in official translations*. We know so comparatively little about Ancient Israel that there’s no overwhelmingly compelling reason to suggest women could not have played a role in the composition of the Tanakh, and the New Testament itself makes explicit the importance of women within the early Christian movement, especially older, educated and wealthy women- so what’s to stop a woman being behind some of the New Testament writings (especially given that so many are disputed in authorship)?
*Easy way to detect if the Bible translation you own has a sexist bias: look up Romans 16:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8. If the former calls Phoebe a “servant” of the church but the latter refers to regulations for “deacons”, congratulations! The translators of your Bible deliberately chose to erase evidence of the ordination of women in the early church! Both verses in fact feature exactly the same word, diakonos, which certainly can mean servant, but is also the word for deacon, an order of Christian ministry that exists to this day.
The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Reverend Giles Fraser, spoke on Thursday about his reasons for resigning over the cathedral’s stance towards the protest camp which has been established over the past two weeks.
"I cannot support using violence to ask people to clear off the land," Fraser told the Guardian. "It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent.”
Fraser said he decided to resign on Wednesday when he realised he could not reconcile his conscience with the possibility of the church and the Corporation of London combining to evict the protesters from the land outside the cathedral, some of which is jointly owned with the City.
"The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence," said Fraser, adding that it was apparent that the Corporation of London was clearer than the cathedral authorities about its desire to see the protesters moved on.
"I cannot countenance the idea that this would be about [the eviction of] Dale Farm on the steps of St Paul’s.
If you live with others in a public space in a city, if you set up shelters in which people can live without owning or renting property, if you set up an outdoor kitchen with which to feed anyone who wants food, if you establish a free school at which anyone can read and learn, if you set up bathroom facilities provided by organizations supporting your activities, if you show solidarity with struggles against police killings and police violence against people of color, against the poor, against women, against queers and transpeople, if you state your determination to defend the space you have created against the threat of eviction, in short—if you work toward organizing ways of living and relating to one another that might challenge those mandated by capitalism, your efforts will eventually be crushed by the police.
We know this because we know that the question is not whether the police are “part of the 99%,” on the basis of their salary. What is called the 99% is ruptured by many divisions. Among these is the dividing line that runs between those who want to change the world and those who uphold the status quo, between those who work to undermine the brutal order of property and those who work to enforce it. For those who transform the world by challenging capitalist economic and social relations, working to displace and overturn them, the police are one among many enemies. We know it is their job to destroy what we create, and it is no surprise when they do that.
“all social relations, in order to be social relations, are based on a minimal bedrock of communism. Ultimately capitalism itself is just a bad way (in my opinion a bad way) of organizing communism.”—David Graeber
Direct action and more specifically nonviolent direct action coupled with a decentralized democratic, , “affinity group” model, is the antithesis of traditional Marxist-Leninist theory and practice.
Traditional socialist and Marxist-Leninst ideology believed that your needed a “vanguard party” to lead the revolution, enforce discipline and to engage in violent revolution. Any deviation from party doctrine, or questioning, strategy or tactics was forbidden, since the central committee had all the answers and the correct analysis. Democracy and nonviolence, are seen as “peti-bourgeoise deviations”. The capitalist class is violent so we must be violent.
The strength of the Occupy Wall Street and 99% movement is it’s committment to nonviolence and horizonal leadership and organizational structure. The establishment can’t deal with that. It is also disseminating it’s methods through manuals which you can download and then train and organize your own local support or local occupation. Streaming video, blogs and Tweating also spread “propaganda of the deed” of how it is done.
It is not a bunch of male dominated, ego tripping radicals, this is a diverse group of people building a democratic nonviolent movement for fundemental change. The MSM, (mainstream media) can no longer ignore it. This is not like it was in the 60’s and 70’s where we “acted our way into thinking”. It is more inclusive, creative, imaginative, flexible and adaptable. It is truely an evolutionary as it is revolutionary event unseen in human history. This is not “Hooverville”, “Woodstock”, LiveAid” or the occupation of the National Guard Armories after the mass arrest of occupiers of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant site in the 70’s. This is the start I hope of a nonviolent revolution to throw the “money changers” out of the government and putting “we, the people” and Main Street back in power.
As an anthropologist and active participant—particularly in the more radical, direct-action end of the movement—I may be able to clear up some common points of misunderstanding; but the news may not be gratefully received. Much of the hesitation, I suspect, lies in the reluctance of those who have long fancied themselves radicals of some sort to come to terms with the fact that they are really liberals: interested in expanding individual freedoms and pursuing social justice, but not in ways that would seriously challenge the existence of reigning institutions like capital or state. And even many of those who would like to see revolutionary change might not feel entirely happy about having to accept that most of the creative energy for radical politics is now coming from anarchism—a tradition that they have hitherto mostly dismissed—and that taking this movement seriously will necessarily also mean a respectful engagement with it.
I am writing as an anarchist; but in a sense, counting how many people involved in the movement actually call themselves ‘anarchists’, and in what contexts, is a bit beside the point. The very notion of direct action, with its rejection of a politics which appeals to governments to modify their behaviour, in favour of physical intervention against state power in a form that itself prefigures an alternative—all of this emerges directly from the libertarian tradition. Anarchism is the heart of the movement, its soul; the source of most of what’s new and hopeful about it. In what follows, then, I will try to clear up what seem to be the three most common misconceptions about the movement—our supposed opposition to something called ‘globalization’, our supposed ‘violence’, and our supposed lack of a coherent ideology—and then suggest how radical intellectuals might think about reimagining their own theoretical practice in the light of all of this.
The unequal distribution of global wealth by individuals (not countries) should give us pause. Even the Wall Street Journal is impressed:
Here’s another stat that the Occupy Wall Streeters can hoist on their placards: The world’s millionaires and billionaires now control 38.5% of the world’s wealth.
How do we know? Because Credit Suisse has just published the second edition of its Global Wealth Report, in which they calculate the distribution of the world’s total wealth.
As readers can see above, the figures for mid-2011 indicate that 29.7 million adults, about 1/2 of one percent of the world’s population, own more than one third of global household wealth. Of this group, they estimate that 85,000 individuals are worth more than $50 million, 29,000 are worth more than $100 million, and 2,700 have assets above $500 million. Compare this to the bottom of the pyramid: 3.054 billion people, 67.6 percent of the world’s population, with assets of less than $10,000, who own a mere 3.3 percent of the world’s wealth. Add another billion people with assets between $10,000 and $100,000 and we have 91.2 percent of the world’s population that owns something on the order of 17.8 percent of total world wealth.
Clearly, global capitalism has enriched a tiny minority while leaving the vast majority at the bottom of the global wealth pyramid.
In ’09 banks would not lend to each other. We were told it was a liquidity problem. Our leaders refused point blank to even listen to any other ideas. They ignored or ridiculed those who said this was a crisis of solvency not liquidity . And ignored as outlandish and dangerous the idea that the reason banks wouldn’t lend to each other is because they all knew they had massive debts and that the assets/income stream underpinning all those debts was a lie. But the truth is the assets were not worth what the banks claimed. And because the banks all knew this to be true they quite reasonably refused to accept each others assets as collateral and without collateral they would not loan.
Fast forward over two years during which, instead of cutting out the infected tissue of bad debts, we simply fed it all to National banks and what is the result? Now we have nations who wont lend to each other. We now have a credit crunch at the sovereign level. And it will have the same effect it had last time but larger. Now nations are starved of cash and via them whole national systems of the banks who were infected and starved of cash in 09 are at death’s door again. Only difference we, the peoples of these nations are trillions more in debt than we were three years ago. Bravo! Bravo!
Meanwhile the monkeys in charge still won’t listen to any alternative ideas and are still at their sacred bar pressing it and telling themselves that one day soon it will work as it once did.
One might even say that what we really have, in the idea of primordial debt, is the ultimate nationalist myth. Once we owed our lives to the gods that created us, paid interest in the form of animal sacrifice, and ultimately paid back the principal with our lives. Now we owe it to the Nation that formed us, pay interest in the form of taxes, and when it comes time to defend the nation against its enemies, to offer to pay it with our lives.
This is a great trap of the twentieth century: on one side is the logic of the market, where we like to imagine we all start out as individuals who don’t owe each other anything. On the other is the logic of the state, where we all begin with a debt we can never truly pay. We are constantly told that they are opposites, and that between them they contain the only real human possibilities. But it’s a false dichotomy. States created markets. Markets require states. Neither could continue without the other, at least, in anything like the forms we would recognize today.
“While multiculturalism can accommodate the ideal of equality between most self-identified social groups, the one persistent divide that creates the greatest difficulty is that of class. This is so because class is the foundational inequality necessary to the reproduction of capitalism.”—David Harvey, The Enigma of Capital : And the Crises of Capitalism. (via djalykhan)
“What do we perceive today as possible? Just follow the media. On the one hand, in technology and sexuality, everything seems to be possible. You can travel to the moon, you can become immortal by biogenetics, you can have sex with animals or whatever, but look at the field of society and economy. There, almost everything is considered impossible. You want to raise taxes by little bit for the rich. They tell you it’s impossible. We lose competitivity. You want more money for health care, they tell you, “Impossible, this means totalitarian state.” There’s something wrong in the world, where you are promised to be immortal but cannot spend a little bit more for healthcare. Maybe we need to set our priorities straight here. We don’t want higher standard of living. We want a better standard of living. The only sense in which we are Communists is that we care for the commons. The commons of nature. The commons of privatized by intellectual property. The commons of biogenetics. For this, and only for this, we should fight.”
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
The global economy is not simply suffering from a European debt crisis. Debt itself is in trouble. This morning on Radio National there was an interview with David Graeber, Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmith University London and author of “Debt — the first 5,000 years.” Graeber, who is involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. He made the point that debt is a promise and then asked the question: ”Why are some promises considered more important than others?” Why is a promise to repay to a bank considered inviolate, while the politicians’ promise to say, eliminate university fees (in the case of the UK) considered something easily broken because “circumstances have changed”.
Primal Scream are totally disgusted that The Home Secretary Theresa May ended her speech at the Tory party conference with our song Rocks.
How inappropriate. Didn’t they research the political history of our band?
Hasn’t she listened to the words? Does she even know what getting your rocks off means? No. She is a Tory; how could she?
Primal Scream are totally opposed to the coalition government, Cameron, Osborne, Gove, Howard, Clegg etc. They are legalised bullies passing new laws to ensure the wealthy stay wealthy, taking the side of big business while eradicating workers rights and continuing their attacks on young people, single parents and OAP’s by slashing education and social security budgets, and persecuting the poor for being poor.
We would like to distance ourselves from this sick association.
The Tories are waging a war on the disenfranchised, They are the enemy.
Interviewer:To what extent do you think Obama embodies conservative ideas?
Author:I don’t really know what’s in the heart of hearts of this man. He seems to be extraordinarily impressed by the credentials of elites, especially Wall Street elites, but more important than him, and his biography or his ideology or his persona, is that he’s part of a party that has been completely divested of its progressive organizational infrastructure, the labor movement in particular, but also civil rights. I just don’t see that he’s a conservative, but I would certainly say he is a symptom of the power of conservatism in the United States.
“Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”—Adam Smith - imho misappropriated by neoliberal, neo-economists and very aware of the dangers of capitalism without the right moral training of wider society and the greater good. Also studying up
“Running alongside you have what I call the Woodbrook Initiative – what Beryl McBurnie was doing, what Edric Connor represented, a black-coloured middle-class attempt to relate back fairly honestly to the folk roots within that black middle-class, which was only a generation away from being working class.”—Gordon Rohlehr interview