Freedom and de-alienated labour

by Jeff Noonan
While there is still absolute deprivation of basic needs, this crime is not caused by lack of productive capacity, but inequality in the appropriation of natural resources and social wealth. Continue reading Freedom and de-alienated labour

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The Surveillance State and digital deformation

by Steven Miller and Satish Musunuru “The executive branch has now confirmed that the ‘rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans’ have been violated thousands of times each year.  We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.” — US Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall [1] The Surveillance State is the inevitable development of a corporate-controlled Internet. Today some 70% of the NSA budget goes to corporations, which routinely implement … Continue reading The Surveillance State and digital deformation

Conquering a new popular hegemony

by Marta Harnecker A. Our goal: a different socialism[1] 1. A new socialism, far removed from the soviet model Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, Latin American and world leftist intellectuals fell into a state of confusion. We knew more about what we didn’t want in socialism than what we did want. We rejected the lack of democracy, totalitarianism, state capitalism, bureaucratic central planning, collectivism that sought to standardize without respect for differences, productivism that emphasized the expansion of productive forces without taking into account the need to preserve nature, dogmatism, intolerance … Continue reading Conquering a new popular hegemony

Taking notes 7: Human Rights or Imperial Partnership?

by Zoltan Zigedy Amnesty International has a bee under its bonnet. A human rights advocate, educator, and labor attorney, Dan Kovalik, mustered the audacity to challenge the world’s most prominent and highly regarded rights-based advocacy group. Claiming over three million members since its birth in 1961, AI is the poster child for modern “non-governmental organizations” or NGOs: The hundreds of thousands of hazy entities that play an ever-growing, influential role in international affairs. Despite AI’s sterling reputation among middle class liberals in the English-speaking world, Kovalik was troubled by AI’s stance on the war in Libya and its role in … Continue reading Taking notes 7: Human Rights or Imperial Partnership?

Taking notes 5: The truant insurrection

by Uri Gordon “When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties”. — Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Article 35 We live in a time when the last pretenses of elected governments to serve their citizens are falling away. A decade ago, an international coalition invaded Iraq on a fraudulent pretext, deaf to the protests of millions. Today, austerity measures and bail-outs transfer the cost of the financial crisis onto the people, blatantly ignoring … Continue reading Taking notes 5: The truant insurrection

Freedom vs. Autonomy: A tale of two logics

by Jason Del Gandio In March of 2011, I had the privilege of having a conversation with Franco Berardi, a key theorist associated with the post-Workerist movement [i].  During of our conversation, I asked “Bifo” why he and the other post-Workerists (such as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, Maurizio Lazzarato, and others) rarely address the issue of freedom.  These thinkers are known for waging fierce critiques of global capitalism, assessing the changing conditions of labor, and providing innovative concepts for understanding radical social change.  But rarely do they specifically address freedom.  Berardi responded by saying that he prefers … Continue reading Freedom vs. Autonomy: A tale of two logics

Free speech, war, and academic freedom

by Peter Neil Kirstein To justify American expansionism, presidential war messages frequently contained nationalistic proclamations of American innocence and virtue. President James Knox Polk in seeking war with Mexico on May 11, 1846 as a mandate of the nation’s “Manifest Destiny,” demonized it as a “menace,” lied that it had invaded the United States and argued war was necessary to protect American democracy. “[W]e are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.”[1] President William McKinley in asking Congress for a declaration of war to … Continue reading Free speech, war, and academic freedom

Fahrenheit 451 redux

by Henry A. Giroux “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it…. A violently active, intrepid, brutal youth—that is what I am after… I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin for my young men.” — Adolf Hitler “They that start by burning books will end by burning men.” – Heinrich Heine Every once in a while events flash before us that might at first seem trivial or commonplace given how in tune they are with the political and ideological temper of the times; but in reality they sometimes … Continue reading Fahrenheit 451 redux