Taking notes 27: Is there a method in Syrian madness?

by Slavoj Žižek We all remember President Obama’s smiling face, full of hope and trust, when he repeatedly delivered the motto of his first campaign: “Yes, we can!” – we can get rid of the cynicism of Bush’s era and bring justice and welfare to the American people… Now that the US is approaching a decision about attacking Syria, we can imagine peace protesters shouting at Obama: “How can you advocate another military intervention?” Obama the reluctant warrior looks back at them and murmurs perplexed: “Can I? Should I?” And this time, he is right. All that was false in … Continue reading Taking notes 27: Is there a method in Syrian madness?

Taking notes 6: We are fine in Gaza — How are you?

by Magid Shihade In celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Communist Party in Syria and Lebanon, the Palestinian singer and writer — Khaled El-Hibr sang these words: We are fine in Gaza How about you? We are fine under attack How about you? Our martyrs are under the rubbles Our children now living in the tents And they ask about you We are fine in Gaza How about you? …. The sea is behind us But we fight back The enemy is in front of us But we still fight back We have all what we need: Food and arms … Continue reading Taking notes 6: We are fine in Gaza — How are you?

The spiritual crisis of capitalist civilization

by Jeff Noonan Human beings are integrally natural and social creatures, dependent upon natural life-support systems for their physical existence and socio-cultural life-development systems for the nurturing and realization of their emotional, cognitive, and practical-creative capacities.  Societies whose developmental dynamics become alienated from their natural conditions of existence face inevitable doom.  Oblivious to the ways in which their reproductive dynamics undermining the physical foundations of social life, they collapse the very basis upon which their institutions and value systems depend.  Let us say that any society which unsustainably converts scarce natural resources into tokens of social power (as, for example, … Continue reading The spiritual crisis of capitalist civilization

Understanding the Arab revolution

by Magid Shihade Despite a long history of revolutions in the Arab world in the last 100 years from Palestine, Algeria, Egypt to elsewhere in the region, it is correct to argue that not many scholars, commentators, and experts have expected the recent Arab revolution to take place. This is both true of Western and Arab/Muslim experts, commentators, and scholars alike. It is true that there were many studies and commentaries in the last two decades concerning the possible explosions of youth, with their overrepresentation demographically. But these were more warnings or fear of possible “chaos” and “extremism,” warnings about … Continue reading Understanding the Arab revolution

Insurrection as media spectacle

by Douglas Kellner In 2011, the Arab Uprisings, the Libyan revolution, the UK Riots, the Occupy movements may make it as memorable a year in the history of social upheaval as 1968 and perhaps one as significant. Henceforth, demonstrators could be assembled in flash mobs that could occupy any site at a moment’s notice and submit corrupt businessmen, politicians, and others to the wrath of the people. Political Insurrection as Media Spectacle “In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation,” Guy … Continue reading Insurrection as media spectacle

Resistance is not futile

by Henry A. Giroux Within the last few months, we have seen an outpouring of student protests from all over the globe demonstrating an unrelenting fidelity to justice and to future generations.  Young people have been protesting in the streets in London, mobilizing against a society in which social services, jobs, and hopes for the future are disappearing.  At the same time, young people in the United States and in many Western countries are marching against cuts to student funding and fee increases,” while further demanding a radical economic, social, and political restructuring of the globe.[1] Students in France, Spain, … Continue reading Resistance is not futile