I’m not sure [Frederic] Jameson would say that he is more imaginative than [Steve] Jobs. One of the best aspects of Jameson - and Zizek for that matter - is that he has never given up on what for me is the crucial Marxist idea that an authentic anti-capitalism must develop out of capitalism at its most modern and modernizing. There are some rousing passages in both First As Tragedy, Then As Farce and Valences Of The Dialectic which reiterate this commitment. And Jameson’s essay on “Wal-Mart as Utopia” (also in Valences) is a tremendous attempt to think in this way, against the moralizing and agragrian tendencies in certain stripes of anti-capitalism. Anti-capitalism has to struggle over modernization, not reject it.
The problem with any attempt to posit an anti-capitalism opposed to IPhones and IPods is not only that it invites accusations of inconsistency - here we all are, fermenting anti-capitalist discontent on the internet - but that it surrenders the inorganic - and therefore also libido - to capitalism. For me, the crucial discovery of modernist theory and art is that libido is inorganic: as everyone from Freud through to Eistenstein and Burroughs have recognised, libido montages, it cuts and pastes, it’s no respecter of organic wholeness.
“Any business owner who uses largely unpaid labor, with a handful of underpaid, nonunion employees, to build a company that is sold for a few hundred million dollars, no matter how he or she is introduced to you on the television screen, is not a liberal or a progressive. Those who take advantage of workers, whatever their outward ideological veneer, to make profits of that magnitude are charter members of the exploitative class. Dust off your Karl Marx. They are the enemies of working men and women. And they are also, in this case, sucking the life blood out of a trade I care deeply about. It was bad enough that Huffington used her site for flagrant self-promotion, although the cult of the self has reached such dizzying proportions in American society that such behavior is almost expected. But there is an even sadder irony that this was carried out in the name of journalism.”—Chris Hedges (via azspot)
"Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist’s video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.
That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.”
"There is no evidence that ecstasy causes brain damage, according to one of the largest studies into the effects of the drug. Too many previous studies made over-arching conclusions from insufficient data, say the scientists responsible for the research, and the drug’s dangers have been greatly exaggerated.
The finding will shock campaigners who have claimed ecstasy poses a real risk of triggering brain damage. They have argued that it can induce memory loss, decrease cognitive performance and has long-lasting effects on behaviour.
But experts who have argued that the drug is relatively safe welcomed the new paper. “I always assumed that, when properly designed studies were carried out, we would find ecstasy does not cause brain damage,” said Professor David Nutt, who was fired as chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs by Alan Johnson, then home secretary, for publicly stating alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than ecstasy.”
“El patriotismo es la principal parte de la ideología mediante la cual la burguesía envenena la conciencia de clase de los oprimidos y paraliza su voluntad revolucionaria, porque patriotismo significa sujeción del proletariado a la nación, tras la cual está la burguesía”—Trotsky (via heroescandie)
When Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement was struggling to recover from a failed effort in 2005, its leaders tossed around “crazy ideas” about bringing down the government, said Ahmed Maher, a leading strategist. They stumbled on Mr. Sharp while examining the Serbian movement Otpor, which he had influenced.
Dalia Ziada, an Egyptian blogger and activist who attended the workshop and later organized similar sessions on her own, said trainees were active in both the Tunisia and Egypt revolts. She said that some activists translated excerpts of Mr. Sharp’s work into Arabic, and that his message of “attacking weaknesses of dictators” stuck with them.
Great reading for those interested in an activism primer. Just for a taste, the first thirty:
Formal Statements 1. Public Speeches 2. Letters of opposition or support 3. Declarations by organizations and institutions 4. Signed public statements 5. Declarations of indictment and intention 6. Group or mass petitions
Communications with a Wider Audience 7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols 8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications 9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books 10. Newspapers and journals 11. Records, radio, and television 12. Skywriting and earthwriting
Group Representations 13. Deputations 14. Mock awards 15. Group lobbying 16. Picketing 17. Mock elections
Symbolic Public Acts 18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors 19. Wearing of symbols 20. Prayer and worship 21. Delivering symbolic objects 22. Protest disrobings 23. Destruction of own property 24. Symbolic lights 25. Displays of portraits 26. Paint as protest 27. New signs and names 28. Symbolic sounds 29. Symbolic reclamations 30. Rude gestures
“En ningún momento de la historia, en ningún lugar del planeta, las religiones han servido para que los seres humanos se acerquen unos a los otros. Por el contrario, sólo han servido para separar, para quemar, para torturar. No creo en Dios, no lo necesito y además soy buena persona.”—José Saramago (via tripleijueputa)
I believe the PATRIOT Act represents the cracked domestic crown jewel of a disastrous global war on terror which led us to attack Iraq based on lies, invade Afghanistan based on a misreading of history, indulge in occupations which have fueled insurgencies, extend war to Pakistan and other countries, demonstrating a total lack of common sense.
The PATRIOT Act issues from a pestiferous soil laced with lies and distortions. We created a national security state which threatens our Constitution and weakens our basic liberties. This is not about whether you are a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, but whether we can actually realize that we have been sold a bill of goods, lies about WMD’s, questions about the nature of an anthrax attack, which caused us all too willingly to limit our civil liberties.
I joined other Members of Congress in approving the United States launching attacks on training camps after 9/11 because we have a right to respond and defend ourselves. We also have an obligation to defend the Constitution. We have an obligation to defend the truth. Freedom isn’t free and we shouldn’t freely give our freedoms away.
“Near the end of the twentieth century-indeed, near the end of the so-called Modem Age-two dangerous circumstances threaten the world. One is the institutionalized pressure for material and economic “growth”- contrary to stability and threatening nature itself. The other is the existence of the populist inclinations of nationalism-contrary to a greater and better understanding among peoples. One is the thrust for increasing wealth; the other, for tribal power. One issues from the presumption that the principal human motive is greed; the other, that it is power. To imagine that the former is morally superior to the latter is at least questionable; but to think that the progress of history amounts to the triumph of money over force is stupid beyond belief.”—John Lukacs (via mlq3)
"Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."
I put down my notebook. “Just that?”
"That’s right," he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. "Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there."
Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.
The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What’s more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even “one dollar” just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick “The Gorilla” Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars.
Matt Taibi is a boss. He understands the financial crisis better than most.
“It has been my stance for some time now that the histories of colonialism, slavery, indentured labor, gender, oppression, and class stratification speak not only of the specific classes or peoples or regions to which they are most obviously tied, but more generally of the social differentiations that constitute modernity — of the everyday of modernity. Colonial or postcolonial or minority discourses, describe them as you like, help us to think through the ways in which hierarchies have been articulated and negotiated within modernity. I have argued against the citation of colonial-discourse analysis as a form of “post-Modernism”; I am more interested in rethinking the genealogies of modernity “against the grain.” As I asked in The Location of Culture, What was modernity for those who were part of its instrumentality or governmentality but, for reasons of race or gender or economic status, were excluded from its norms of rationality, or its prescriptions of progress? What contending and competing discourses of emancipation or equality, what forms of identity and agency, emerge from the “discontents” of modernity?”—
Homi Bhabha, 1995.
Less than one and double. Less than one and double.
i have a rather important question. If i send you a self stamped envelope from DC can that somehow transport me from here to Trini for carnival? I feel like wukking! Miss ya :)
there is always room for you here especially for wukkin up!! I think you shud try the envelope thing, who knows it may just work. Otherwise i’ll have to just come visit ya for DC carnival. btw my music selections have really gone downhill since i left. Keep posting tunes. I love em!!
Not a question, but you're awesome. I actually applied to American for the PhD program. How do you like living in the Caribbean? I love reading your posts! :)
hey thanks :) The Caribbean is very cool. Carnival is fast approaching too which makes things even more fun. I saw in one of your posts you mentioned AU. i really enjoyed my phd studies there. Its a very public intellectual sort of anthro, much applied stuff which i think is very important. You mentioned you were reading a South Africa project, im sure that was from Dr Leap, he was my committee chair. Cool if a little quirky. Did you go to Lavender Linguistics?
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty.”—Howard Zinn (1922-2010.)
One thing that even the dim bulbs in the media should understand by now is that there is in fact a class war going on, and it is the rich and powerful who are waging it. Anyone who does anything that empowers the little people or that threatens the wealth and power of the plutocracy must be destroyed. There is a reason for these clowns going after Think Progress and unions, just like there is a reason they are targeting wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald, Planned Parenthood, and Acorn. To a lesser extent the fail parade that was the Daily Caller expose on Journolist was more of the same.
You have to understand the mindset- they are playing for keeps. The vast majority of the wealth isn’t enough. They want it all. Anything that gets in their way must be destroyed. They don’t care if they poison every stream or crack the foundation to your house or if your daughter dies getting a back alley abortion or if every one in your mining town has an inoperable tumor. They just don’t give a shit.
And they are well financed, have a strong infrastructure, a sympathetic media, and entire organizations dedicated to running cover for them. They’ve even created their own mythical ideology in which they are superhero Galtian overlords, and this lets a few rubes who babble ignorantly about the free market get to feel like they are playing along, when they are really just being played. It’s these guys versus all of us, yet half the people being rogered (Republicans and glibertarians and hell, half the Democrats) have been convinced the other side is a bigger threat to their well being than the people with all the power, money, and resources. Hell, even in this post I can guarantee that at least five shitheads will come in and tell me they don’t like Glenn Greenwald because he uses too many words or that Jane Hamsher is shrill or because neither of them fellate Obama to satisfaction. Talk about not fucking getting it.
I don’t even know why we bother to hold elections any more, to be honest, the game is so rigged.
“There are supposed to be institutions which limit what can be done in pursuit of those private-sector goals. They’re called “government” and “law.” But those institutions are so annexed by the most powerful private-sector elites, and so corrupted by the public officials who run them, that nobody — least of all those elites — has any expectation that they will limit anything. To the contrary, the full force of government and law will be unleashed against anyone who undermines Bank of America and Wall Street executives and telecoms and government and the like (such as WikiLeaks and supporters), and will be further exploited to advance the interests of those entities, but will never be used to constrain what they do. These firms vying for Bank of America’s anti-WikiLeaks business know all of this full well, which is why they concluded that proposing such pernicious and possibly illegal attacks would be deemed not just acceptable but commendable.”—