Murdoch has hotly denied ever trading the influence of his market-leading newspapers in return for policy favours. “That was absolutely not News Corporation’s policy and I would not do business like that,” Murdoch repeated in a six-hour appearance before the Leveson inquiry on Tuesday.
But emails published by the inquiry indicate that some in Murdoch’s inner circle were not blind to the political importance of the media group. Frédéric Michel, the head of European public affairs for News Corp and the man tasked with smoothing the way for the BSkyB deal, told Murdoch in an email on 10 January 2011 that Hunt might appreciate some friendly coverage in anticipation that the government would come under fire from those who opposed the $8bn takeover.
"He [Hunt] is keen to meet next Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss our submission. He said he would not be influenced by the negative media coverage but would welcomed [sic] other opeds like Littlewood or Elstein in the coming days," Michel said in the email to Murdoch. Two weeks later Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, issued a statement supporting the bid and David Elstein, former Thames TV and Sky executive, writes two pieces for Open democracy website in favour of the takeover.
There is emerging circumstantial evidence that the Cameron government entered into what looks suspiciously like a Grand Bargain with the Murdoch newspaper empire before the last election. It may have gone like this: the Murdoch press would throw its weight behind the Conservative Party in the 2010 general election, and in return the Conservatives would back known Murdoch policy objectives …
At this stage the evidence is only circumstantial, but the charge that the Cameron government has done commercial favours for the Murdochs in return for political support is very serious. This, if true, would amount to corruption. Certainly, if proven, it would force the resignation of Mr Hunt. But it is not impossible that the Government would fall. Mr Hunt is one of Mr Cameron’s closest friends in the Cabinet, and would never have set out on the course he did without the agreement of the Prime Minister.
”—Peter Osborne in the Daily Telegraph suggests the Murdoch affair could bring down David Cameron
“Sending social scientists to study local populations in the company of armed troops amid active hostilities will not produce scientifically reliable information. Just as important are the long-term consequences of this approach. Embedding anthropologists with combat brigades undermines their independence and duty not to harm populations — requirements that are the linchpins of anthropological ethics. Calling embedded anthropologists “social scientists” does not solve the problem…The association’s Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security and Intelligence Communities concluded unanimously that “when ethnographic investigation is determined by military missions, not subject to external review, where data collection occurs in the context of war, integrated into the goals of counterinsurgency, and in a potentially coercive environment — all characteristic factors of the HTS concept and its application — it can no longer be considered a legitimate professional exercise of anthropology.”—Anthropologists and the Human Terrain System
“Entrégate, come rico, besa, abraza, haz el amor, baila, enamórate, relájate, viaja, salta, acuéstate tarde, levántate temprano, corre, vuela, canta, ponte linda, ponte cómoda, admira el paisaje, disfruta, y sobre todo, ¡deja que la vida te despeine!”—Mafalda. (via capicuaspeleandoporserdiferentes)
“Every colonized people— In other words, every people in whose soul an inferiority complex has been created by the death and burial of its local cultural originality— finds itself face to face with the language of the civilizing nation; that is, with the culture of the mother country. The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards.”—Frantz Fanon; Black Skin, White Masks. (via atreegrowsinbrixton)
“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”—
[W]e did a study in which capuchin monkeys received either a grape or a piece of cucumber for a simple task.
If both monkeys got the same reward, there never was a problem. Grapes are by far preferred (as real primates, like us, they go for sugar content), but even if both received cucumber, they’d perform the task many times in a row.
However, if they received different rewards, the one who got the short end of the stick would begin to waver in its responses, and very soon start a rebellion by either refusing to perform the task or refusing to eat the cucumber.
This is an “irrational” response in the sense that if profit-maximizing is what life (and economics) is about, one should always take what one can get. Monkeys will always accept and eat a piece of cucumber whenever we give it to them, but apparently not when their partner is getting a better deal. In humans, this reaction is known as “inequity aversion.”
“The problem is that the industry need not think they can only reflect the culture; they need to acknowledge that, should they so choose, they could fundamentally alter it. We are a visual society who thrives on repetition: tell us something enough and we’ll believe it. Sell us something enough, and we’ll buy it. Everyone knows this, including the industry itself. So why, when it comes to issues of race, does cinema suddenly backtrack and see film not as something with the power to progress, but something that is merely “giving the people what they want.” Isn’t “telling the people what they want” the true barometer of corporate success?”—Let’s Have The “Racism In Hollywood” Conversation One More Time « Thought Catalog (via sociolab)
“Generations of white supremacy and capitalism have deeply distorted our collective understanding of “safety”. The Prison Industrial Complex teaches us that “safety” is a commodity—something that we come to believe can be given, taken away, valued, or devalued. And we internalize and embody this understanding—“you make me feel unsafe, that’s an unsafe neighborhood, we need someone to keep us safe”—as if safety is something that is done to us. We might instead think about “safety” as a self-generating process over time that is impacted by external conditions but not dictated by them. We will not look to people, spaces, policies, or institutions to “make us safe” but will instead look to the resources that rest in ourselves and our communities that can decrease our vulnerability to harm and increase our ability to make grounded choices that will foster our wellness.”—Morgan Bassichis (via theredtree)
MD:Where we’re going? Are we arriving somewhere? Still, a story has a point of arrival. So what is that arrival?
ÉG:For me, the arrival is the moment where all the components of humanity—not just the African ones—consent to the idea that it is possible to be one and multiple at the same time; that you can be yourself and the other; that you can be the same and the different. When that battle—because it is a battle, not a military but a spiritual one—when that battle is won, a great many accidents in human history will have ended, will be abolished.
“The Haitian Revolution was an unthinkable event from the perspective of contemporary Europe and the United States, centrally, no doubt, because of deeply embedded ideologies of racial superiority, but we should also recognise that the Haitian Revolution was unthinkable because it violated the rule of property. A simple syllogism is at work here: the republic must protect private property; slaves are private property; therefore Republicanism must oppose the freeing of the slaves. With the example of Haiti, in effect, the republican pretence to value freedom and equality directly conflicts with the rule of property - and property wins out. In this sense the exclusion of the Haitian Revolution from the canon of republicanism is powerful evidence of the sacred status of property to the republic. It may be appropriate, in fact, that Haiti be excluded from the list of republican revolutions, not because the Haitian Revolution is somehow unworthy of the republican spirit but, on the contrary, because republicanism does not live up to the spirit of freedom and equality contained in the Haitian rebellion against slavery!”—Speak.Collaborate.Listen: Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Commonwealth (2009), 13-14
“To define racism only through extreme groups and their extreme acts is akin to defining weather only through hurricanes. Hurricanes are certainly a type of weather pattern - a harsh and brutal type - but so too are mild rainfalls, light breezes, and sunny days. Likewise, racism is much broader than violence and epithets. It also comes in quieter, everyday-ordinary forms”—
Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer in What is Racial Domination? (via kidonacloud)
My position is that it is not up to us [intellectuals] to propose. As soon as one “proposes” - one proposes a vocabulary, an ideology, which can only have effects of domination. What we have to present are instruments and tools that people might find useful. By forming groups specifically to make these analyzes, to wage these struggles, by using these instruments or others: this is how, in the end, possibilities open up.
But if the intellectual starts playing once again the role that he has played for a hundred and fifty years - that of prophet in relation to what “must be”, to what “must take place” - these effects of domination will return and we shall have other ideologies, functioning in the same way.
”—Michel Foucault, 1988. Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings, 1977-1984, section entitled,‘Confinement, psychiatry, prison’. (via reinventionoftheprintingpress)