Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

by Daniel Pinchbeck At last, we have reached the end of the classic Mayan Long Count calendar, the 5,125-year cycle that ended on December 21st of last year. The mainstream media has, predictably, used the occasion to ridicule the straw man they irresponsibly helped to set up: That this was a doomsday threshold, as silly as Y2K. At the same time, the worst and best predictions of alternative theorists ranging from Graham Hancock to Paul LaViolette to Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna, John Major Jenkins, David Wilcock, and Carl Johan Calleman have failed to materialize. Apparently, a galactic superwave is not … Continue reading Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

by Jeff Shantz  That anarchists should run afoul of the authorities is hardly surprising.  Indeed, anarchism has a long history of direct conflict with State institutions and their defenders.  Some of the most striking images from this history are the caricatures of black trenchcoat wearing “bomb throwers” who owe their fame to activities at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Novels such as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent and Frank Harris’ The Bomb have kept the character of the fanatic alive.  In the popular imagination the spectre of anarchy still conjures notions of terror, chaos, destruction and the collapse of civilization … Continue reading Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

by Henry A. Giroux “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. The American public is suffering from an education deficit.  By this I mean it exhibits a growing inability to think critically, question authority, be reflective, weigh evidence, discriminate between reasoned arguments and opinions, listen across differences, and engage the mutually informing relationship between private problems and broader public issues. This growing political and cultural illiteracy is not merely a problem of the individual, one that points to simple ignorance. It is a collective and social problem that goes … Continue reading Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

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