Writers & Essays (A – M)

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Marxism: Dead or alive?

Giorgio Agamben:We have today the paradoxical convergence of an absolutely liberal paradigm in economy with an unprecedented and equally absolute paradigm of state and police control. If government aims to the effects and not to the causes, it will be obliged to extend and multiply controls. Causes demand to be known, while effects can only be checked and controlled. The security state and a theory of destituent power

Michael Albert: Indignity, disempowerment, and hunger accompany capitalism worldwide. No one sensibly denies this, yet even among those who despise capitalism, most fear that suffering would increase without it. How do we reward and ennoble work? How do we enrich consumption and make it more equitable? How do we make allocation just and efficient? Can we enjoy efficiency, justice, democracy, and integrity simultaneously? Life after capitalism

Kieran Allen: We believe communist societies failed miserably. But this ignores how these were about a high level of state control and had little to do with freedom. The USSR and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were not an alternative to capitalism but a mirror image of it. They were controlled by bureaucratic elites who ran the economy as a military industrial complex to compete with their cold war rivals in the USA. Another way is possible (site specific)

William C. Anderson: Why serve a country that doesn’t serve you? Why pledge allegiance to a nation that has still not demonstrated allegiance to Black people — even those who serve it? Black service members salute and pledge an oath of loyalty to a country that does not protect them after they have protected it. Taking notes 47: Black Americans and the military: this country is not to die for

Tom Atlee: The Occupy movement is an emergent phenomenon evolving in its own organic way. It has the pioneering social DNA of a new civilization based on humanity’s oldest cultural DNA. It is a distributed, self-organizing learning community evolving through passion, mutual aid, and experiments in collective intelligence and wisdom. Wise capitalism? (site specific)

Dario Azzelinni: The social transformation in Venezuela is shown by the idea of revolution as a process and the primacy of the constituent power, which has been developed from below in the form of popular power throughout the country. Chávez was an ally in the construction of people’s power and creative building of a new world. The power in Venezuela is in the neighbourhoods, in the towns, villages and cities, organized together. Taking notes 19: Venezuela beyond Chávez

Shimshon Bichler & Jonathan Nitzan: (1) The theory of capital as power argues that capital is not an economic entity but a symbolic quantification of power. It represents the oganized power of dominant capital groups to reshape — or creorder — their society. Capital as power (site specific)

(2) Many in the Occupy movement imagine a world without corporate/state organizations, nationalism, racism and other barriers to a humane society. But if it wants to change the world, it should avoid the temptation of catchy slogans and put aside worn-out theories and dogmas, and instead develop its own understanding of how the capitalist mode of power operates. The 1%, exploitation and wealth

(3) Systemic crises alter the rules of the game. These crises not only dent the resolve of the ruling class; they also change the class disposition of criminals. Under the system of ‘business as usual’, the poor feel that there is ‘no way out’. Without jobs, without dignity and with little prospect for change, the only alternative is crime. But during a deep, systemic crisis, there emerges another, transformational, alternative. Crime, punishment and the limits to power

(4) No ruling class voluntarily gives up its power, particularly not at the hubris stage, when that power seems unassailable. The very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Taking notes 34: The enlightened capitalist

(5) The ruling class is bereft of an intellectual compass and its policymakers are flying blind. Their dogma has collapsed and their makeshift solutions have failed. With massive debt, further fiscal expansion becomes impossible; and with interest rates close to zero, monetary expansion is useless. Can capitalists afford recovery? Three views on economic policy in times of crisis

(6) There is a global alliance between the integrated oil companies, the large armament contractors, leading Western governments and key oil-producing countries. We call this global alliance the ‘Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition’ and set out to explore its nature, history and implications. The weapondollar-petrodollar coalition: still about oil?

(7) To accept that real capital has no definite quantity is to terminate modern economics. To avoid this, the dismal scientists have taken the anti-scientific route of keeping their skeletons in the closet. They have ignored their own conclusions, erased the very debate from their syllabi and fortified the walls surrounding their academic religion to ward off the infidels. Capital accumulation: fiction and reality

Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi: (1) This is the real ethic of entitlement: the natural merits of the rich and powerful entitle them to stake out more of the nation’s wealth for themselves. It’s also the morality of the private atomistic self, a self that feels no obligations to others, but may still congratulate itself for being a job creator, one who raises the tide that lifts other boats. Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

(2) While the endeavor to achieve peace may often be frustrating, we should remember that nothing truly worthy can be achieved without effort. Peace and justice may be slow to arrive, but we will never obtain them without a struggle. Taking notes 44: Participatory spirituality: fostering peace, Inside and Out (site specific)

(3) Today we face not merely a climate crisis but a multidimensional one whose diverse facets intersect and reinforce each other. Its root cause is moral and spiritual. It stems from distortions in our most fundamental perceptions and values that infiltrate our social systems thereby driving predatory political, social, and economic policies. Taking notes 49: Climate change: a moral call to social transformation (site specific)

(4) The call for transformative hope is where religious faith and ethical idealism come in. Religions can act as agents of intolerance and violence. But at their best they can inspire and sustain us in our quest for a solution. They hold before us the vision of the kind of world we should be working to create, and they tell us that the task of creating that world rests with ourselves. Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition (site specific)

Roland Boer: (1) For romantic revolutionaries there is the assumption that the true revolution is yet to come, and they are nostalgic for Western Social-Democracy. Social-Democratic governments, they argue, produced states that were usually better than any communist state. They had “universal” welfare, near full employment, and free education. They forget that such governments operated within the framework of bourgeois democracy. Taking notes 13: Roadblocks of the Old New Left (site specific)

(2) If we focus only on the search for forms of communal life, then the danger is that we may end up becoming too comfortable within the current context. We may become either a cell that has adapted to the wider situation we began by opposing, or we may try to remove ourselves as much as possible from that situation. In either case, we give up on the revolutionary agenda, the desire and need to change the whole system itself. Taking notes 24: Why I am a Christian Communist (site specific)

(3) With each twist and turn, Lenin’s position has become more complex. No longer do we have a Lenin who dismisses religion as fiction and curse. Instead, we find arguments for the duality of religion as response to and cause of suffering, multi-layered metaphors of opium and booze, the dilemma of what happens after the revolution when religion persists. Lenin and religion  (site specific)

(4) There is always interest before than after the revolution. We have a position that may be called ‘Before October,’ in which one’s whole mindset is determined by preparation for the revolution rather than what one does after gaining power. Less interest is shown in the more difficult tasks of constructing socialism after the revolution. Taking notes 36: Is China communist? (site specific)

(5) It is not uncommon to find in Engels’s works statements concerning the negative and reactionary elements of religion. He writes that religion is a source of mystification and deception. For Engels the struggle for communism is also the struggle against the evil effects of religion. But he also argues for the revolutionary potential of Christianity. In defence of Engels (site specific)

(6) Why is longevity, or eternity, a criterion for success? The fact that communism has actually appeared over a century is proof of the success and continuing appeal of communism. It may be for shorter or longer periods of time, it may even establish itself relatively permanently, but it has appeared. The ‘Failure’ of Communism: a ‘Fall’ narrative (site specific)

Anjan Chakrabarti: (1) ‘Voodoo’ economics continues to be dominant as its influence is deeply rooted in current policy making circles, even as depression can no longer be denied. The theoretical consensus resulting from the anti-Keynesian revolution enacted by supply side macroeconomics holds considerable sway. This consensus presents a deeper trouble as it lies in the claim that a global capitalist regime of free agents in a competitive market economy leads to the disappearance of systemic failure such as depressions. The faltering miracle story of India and neoliberalism (site specific)

(2) The negative features of exploitation, alone or in combination with other process, have contributed to the scenarios of systemic instability, unemployment, alienation, marginalization, inequality, poverty, stratification, violence, ecological imbalance and environmental degradation. These effects materialize because of the manner in which organization of exploitation can appear in conjunction with other social processes. Class and need: Social surplus and Marxian theorization of development (site specific)

(3) It may be said that capitalist exploitation is legalized, that is, institutionalized. This points to another kind of social institutionalization of corruption and the attempt to reduce injustice to law. One can then look away from this kind of corruption, which is tantamount to looking away from corruption itself. Corruption must be examined as institutionalized in the state apparatuses, the ‘economy’ and private enterprise. India and the politics of ‘corruption’ (site specific)

Paresh Chattopadhyay: The socialism we know has nothing in common with that envisaged by Marx. This is due to the absence of conditions for the advent of a society of free and associated individuals. Most particularly, the working class has yet to reach a point where it can no longer accept the system confronting them and are prepared to revolt, though the necessary process might be on the way. Illusion of the Epoch: Twentieth Century Socialism (site specific)

Noam Chomsky: (1) That the United States is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay is a common theme, widely believed, and with some reason. But an appraisal of US foreign policy and influence abroad and the strength of its domestic economy and political institutions at home suggests that the decline has in fact been proceeding since the high point of US power shortly after World War II, and the remarkable rhetoric of the several years of triumphalism in the 1990s was mostly self-delusion. The decline of America

(2) So the world is now indeed splitting into a plutonomy and a precariat — in the imagery of the Occupy movement, the 1% and the 99%. The Occupy movement is a major and popular reaction to injustices. But it’s necessary to admit that it will  be a long, hard struggle. You don’t win victories tomorrow. You have to form the structures that will be sustained, that will go on through hard times and can win major victories. Taking notes 10: Plutonomy and the precariat

(3) Video presentation by Chomsky (2014): Surviving the 21st Century

(4) Video presentation by Chomsky (2012): The emerging New World Order, its roots, our legacy

(5) Some good emerges from Sam Harris’s attempt to engage Noam Chomsky in an email debate. The singular consistency and clarity of Chomsk’s thought shines through. This should be apparent if, for those reading the exchange for the first time, one goes through Chomsk’s responses first as provided and then looks at them in the context of Sam Harris’s words. Chomsky lives up to the moral responsibility of a public intellectual. An exchange between Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky: censored by Sam Harris

(6) Video presentation by Chomsky (2009): US terrorism

(7) Video presentation by Chomsky (2002): The history and hypocrisy of the war on terror 

(8) Video presentation by Chomsky (2013):  What Is Anarchism? Noam Chomsky on capitalism, socialism, free markets

(9) Video presentation (1971): The Noam Chomsky-Michel Foucault debate: On human nature

(10) Video presentation (2016): Yanis Varoufakis and Noam Chomsky: a dialogue

Aziz Choudry & Eric Shragge: Conservatives in the media and political figures on the right tried to cast the striking Quebec students as privileged and self-serving, but the links that the student mobilization made with the neoliberal agendas of the state resonated with the unions and the general public who were seeing an erosion of public services and benefits. Taking notes 20: The 2012 student strike: Many lessons were learned and taught

Uninomade Collective: The gap between the national fragmentation of social struggles and the breadth of the geopolitical space of transformation still exists and should be addressed with determination by social movements which must construct a ‘geopolitics of struggle’ for the radical redifinition of European space. The geopolitics of struggle

Chris Cutrone: (1) Today we struggle not with the problem of achieving socialism, but have rather returned to the more basic issue of democracy. This is seen from the current financial crisis to the ongoing protests world over. The need to go beyond mere “protest” has asserted itself. Political revolution seems necessary — again. The relevance of Lenin today

(2) While today workers still have nothing to lose but their chains, the unemployed masses wield their chains as weapons against each other. But in the background, capitalism continues. This is not surprising since recognition of the problem could only come from practically engaging it as such. The issue is why it seems so undesirable to do so, today. Why have people stopped struggling for socialism? Taking notes 8: Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today

(3) Critical theory recognizes that the role of theory in attempting to transform society goes beyond trying to rationalize what is happening, but rather to critique, to explore conditions of possibility for change. The role of such critical theory is not to describe how things are, but how they might become, how things could and should be, but are not, yet. Theory and practice reconsidered: The role of ‘critical theory’

(4) History is not merely a set of accumulated effects but a development of consciousness or should be, according to Hegel. The question is whether and how the development of social practices has facilitated or rather hindered and retarded — perhaps even blocked — the further development of consciousness. When was the crisis of capitalism? The legacy of the 1960s New Left

Geoff Davies: Our modern industrial societies are in the grip of a delusion.  It is a grand delusion perpetuated most particularly by a group known loosely as economists.  The core of the delusion was devised over a hundred years ago by a few economists who developed a theory of how economies might work.  Since then many subsidiary practices and beliefs, old and new, have been incorporated into the general delusion, and economists who believe the delusion have become very powerful. The Tao of economics

Jason Del Gandio: Freedom is a relation of subjugation, it is something granted to us by an external force. Autonomy is a form of radical self-rule that precedes and exceeds exterior power. It is based on hyper-interconnectivity and a radical relationality. It is open-ended, unpredictably creative, and renders autonomous logic unruly and ungovernable. Freedom vs. Autonomy: A tale of two logics (site specific)

Anup Dhar: It may be said that capitalist exploitation is legalized, that is, institutionalized. This points to another kind of social institutionalization of corruption and the attempt to reduce injustice to law. One can then look away from this kind of corruption, which is tantamount to looking away from corruption itself. Corruption must be examined as institutionalized in the state apparatuses, the ‘economy’ and private enterprise. India and the politics of ‘corruption’ (site specific)

Tim Di Muzio: We are facing a general crisis of social reproduction in which our  societies produce, consume and reproduce our lives and lifestyles unsustainably. It is a situation where conceptualizations of individual and social purpose along with the prospects for future development will be radically altered. So long as patterns of development continue to be based on the fantasy that more fossil fuels can be found, there will be painful adjustments for the future. Petro-market civilization (site specific)

Charles Eisenstein: (1) What we are facing today is not merely an economic bubble collapse, nor merely, even a deflationary unwinding of credit: It is nothing less than a Marxian “historical crisis of capital,” resurging now at a time when all the measures that have kept it at bay for two centuries have finally been exhausted. Money and the turning of the Age

(2) The thinking goes, there must be some limit on the amount of money created or it inflates and ultimately becomes worthless. Because it is hard to create, the supply of money has a natural limit that politics cannot alter. Or can it? After all, a community of human beings decided on the generating process and upper limit on the number of bitcoins, and that community could also change its mind. Taking notes 28: The next step for digital currency

Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin: To Anarchists, a Capitalist “democratic” government is no better than a fascist or Communist regime. The ruling class differs only in the amount of violence they authorise, and the degree of rights they allow, if any. Through war, police repression, social neglect, and political suppression, governments have killed millions of people. Anarchists want to end this slaughter, and build a society based on peace and freedom. Capitalism, Anarchism and Black liberation (site specific)

Brad Evans: The state is no longer the center of politics. Neoliberalism has made a bonfire of the sovereign principles embodied in the social contract. Power and its modalities of violence are detached from the controlling political interests of the nation-state, utilizing technologies far beyond those imagined in the most exaggerating of 20th century fictions. Disposable futures

Bill Fletcher, Jr.: The Left cannot favour dictatorships. It must favour popular, revolutionary democracies that expand the rights and activities of the oppressed, and narrow the field for oppressors. It must give the means for different views to contend without fear that someone be killed or incarcerated for alleged heresy. But there will be reactionary forces always trying to undermine them. Marxism, the 21st century and social transformation (site specific)

John Bellamy Foster & Brett Clark: Capitalism is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe. But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis. Yet it is possible for humanity to avert disaster by creating a different human metabolism with nature that offers the master-key to a workable ecological exit strategy. The Planetary Emergency

Steve Fraser: There are real terrorists out there. But around their acts of mayhem has grown a demonology persuading us to live in permanent fear, in a state of endless war. It projects that war to be endless because it is on a fool’s errand to solve the political problems generated by global capitalism through military means. It is a form of state-sponsored paranoia that exacerbates an already pronounced penchant to man-up to the fear. To go beyond the capitalist state (site specific)

Henry A. Giroux: (1) A famous slogan of May 1968 was “Be realistic, demand the impossible.” The spirit of that slogan is alive once again. But if it is to become more than a slogan, youth across the globe must struggle even more resiliently to build formative cultures, critical public spheres, social movements, and democratic institutions to make that recognition and struggle possible. Resistance is not futile (site specific)

(2) The price paid for social violence in America is an ongoing assault on millions of young people. The cost is high, and with it comes the tragic violation of human life and the death of democracy itself. We can and must do more than don a hoodie to signifiy the superficial solidarity of the new post-racial world order. Post-racial America

(3) The Occupy movement is about reclaiming space, new ideas and a new political language. It rejects the notion that democracy and markets are the same. Youth are calling for the end of corporate control of political and cultural institutions, poverty, suppression of dissent, and the permanent war state. Protesting youth: A new political language

(4) More people, groups and movements around the globe and at home are organizing to challenge the dangerous slide on the part of the USA into the morass of an authoritarianism that threatens not just the promise but the very idea of democracy in the 21st century. America’s fundamentalist scorched earth politics

(5) The American public owes its children and must dismantle the machinery of death dressed up as consumerism and celebrity culture. It is time for the 99 percent to not only rewrite the language of democracy, but put into place institutions and formative cultures that make it possible. The ‘suicidal state’ and the war on youth

(6) The state exercises its slavish role in the form of lowering taxes for the rich, deregulating corporations, funding wars for the benefit of the defense industries and devising other welfare services for the ultra-rich. There is no escaping the global politics of finance capital and the global network of violence that it has created. The warfare state and the brutalizing of everyday life

(7) The Occupy Movement and other critical thinkers should join independent media to make pedagogy central to a viable notion of politics. The attack on higher education by gated intellectuals is symptomatic of the fear of right-wing reactionaries to critical thought, quality education and the possibility of a generation that can think critically and act with political and ethical conviction. Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy Movement

(8) The Occupy movement protesters open up conversations in which acts of critical recovery unleash possibilities repressed by official history and social realities. Today, when academics tend to follow power and fashion, the protesters exhibit political conviction and courage in speaking and struggling against the status quo. Occupy and the unleashing of possibilities

(9)  The big lie propagates the myth that the free market system is the only thing that ensures freedom and democracy. To go beyond it requires new sites of pedagogy as a way of rethinking how power deploys culture and how culture as a mode of education positions power. Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

(10) The promotion of violence in the media, the degradation of its education system, and the war by the elites on the under-privileged and have-nots in America, have created a new meaning for the war on poverty — there is an active war waged upon the growing underclass and vulnerable, if not the formative cultures and institutions that make democracy possible. USA Inc.: Challenging the culture of violence and corruption (site specific)

(11) Youth have dared to call for a different world and have shown great courage in taking up a wager about the future from an embattled present. To understand the shared concerns of the youthful protesters and the global nature of the forces they are fighting, it is crucial to situate these protests within the broader analysis of global capital and the nature of its assaults on youth. Protest and power: The radical imagination

(12) Students should see teachers in the classroom as role models for the principle that they can make a difference in society. Such an investment in young people is an issue of politics, ethics and power, which must be viewed as part of a larger struggle to connect the crisis of schooling and teaching to the crisis of democracy itself. The teachers strike: An emerging revolutionary ideal

(13) Neoliberal ideology’s pathology denies that in a healthy society people depend on each other in multiple, complex, direct and indirect ways, such that the conditions for critical inquiry, moral responsibility, and social and economic justice also start to disappear. The result resembles a call to war that turns the principles of democracy against democracy itself. It appears the only bond holding American society together is a perverse collective death-drive. The end of American Democracy?

(14) We must embrace the classroom as a political site, but eschew all  indoctrination, as educators must think through the distinction between a politicizing pedagogy, which insists wrongly that students think as we do, and a political pedagogy, which teaches students by example and through dialogue about the importance of power, social responsibility and the importance of taking a stand while rigorously engaging the full range of ideas about an issue. Surviving neoliberalism

(15) The American public cannot trap itself in a crisis of negation, one that rules out the historical possibility of struggle, resistance and emancipatory change. They need to challenge the corrupt and moribund version of democracy that now dominates them, and imagine what kind of institutions, culture, power relations and modes of governance would be possible in a radical democracy. Neoliberal terror and the age of disposability

(16) Schools are always political because they produce particular kinds of agents, desires and social relations and they legitimate particular notions of the past, present and future. The struggle is visible in demands of right-wing religious groups trying to inject creationism in schools. But demands are also made by feminists, ecologists, minorities, and other interest groups. Schools are not neutral sites, and teachers cannot assume the posture of being neutral either. The war against teachers as public intellectuals

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(17) The US occupies a critical juncture in its history in which the forces of extremism are on the rise in the midst of revolutionizing modes of governance, ideology and policy. The politics of disconnect is part of a series of strategies designed to conceal this deeper order of authoritarian politics. In a society that revels in bouts of historical and social amnesia, it is easier for the language of politics and community to be stolen and deployed like a weapon. The New Extremism: Politics of distraction in the Age of Austerity

(18) The Obama administration discarded the principles of justice, judicial review and international law in its willingness to kill Americans. It openly flaunts such behavior as integral to how the US defines itself in a post- 9/11 world. How can any American talk about living in a democracy when their President claims that he and his officials can authorize the targeted killing of citizens not charged with a crime. The vanishing point of democracy

(19) What Eisenhower underestimated was the transition from a militarized economy to a militarized society in which the culture itself is shaped by military power, values and interests. What has become clear in contemporary America is that the organization of civil society for the production of violence is about more than producing militarized technologies and weapons; it is also about producing militarized subjects and a permanent war economy. The politics of disimagination and the pathologies of power (site specific)

(20) The collective expressions of relief, compassion, and adulation were reasonable and appropriate once the threat from the Boston marathon bombers had ended. But such feelings are short-lived in a country losing its capacity to question itself, embracing instead a mode of historical amnesia. What is needed is a critical and thoughtful analysis about what the significance of locking down an entire city means for democracy itself. Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt (site specific)

(21) As market mentalities and moralities tighten their grip on all aspects of society, democratic institutions and public spheres are being downsized, if not altogether disappearing. As these institutions vanish there is also a serious erosion of the discourses of community, justice, equality, public values, and the common good. One does not have to look too far to see what happens in America’s neoliberal educational culture to see how ruthlessly the inequality of wealth, income, and power bears down on those young people and brave teachers who are struggling every day. Marching in Chicago: Resisting neoliberal savagery (site specific)

(22) The current crop of super-rich financiers is too arrogant and comfortable to provide a rationale for their extreme wealth and power. All forms of violence are now factored into the call for economic growth, abetted by the cowardice of the mainstream media that act as paid servants for the rich and the growing prominence of a political apparatus that enriches itself on the benefits provided by an army of corporate lobbyists. Capitalism’s dead zone: Chicago’s lessons on the violence of inequality

(23) Corporate school reform is not simply obsessed with measurements that degrade any viable understanding of the connection between schooling and educating critically engaged citizens. The reform movement is also determined to underfund and disinvest resources for public schooling so that public education can be completely divorced from any democratic notion of governance, teaching and learning. When schools become dead zones of the imagination: A Critical Pedagogy Manifesto

(24) There is more at stake here than a military strike against Syria, there is the Hobbesian imaginary of endless permanent war and the presence of a security-warfare state that can only imagine violence as a solution to whatever problem it identifies.  The future of American society lies in opposition to the warfare state, its warfare culture, its mad machinery of violence, and its gross misdeeds. State violence is not a measure of greatness and honor. Hope in a time of permanent war

(25) The anti-public intellectuals never condemn government corruption by banks and the mega rich, or the extent of the military-industrial-academic-surveillance state. They are angered by those who dare question authority, expose corrupt politicians, and the carcinogenic nature of the corporate state. This is evident by attacks on Manning and Snowden, who are in a group of young people who exposed the abusive powers of the national security state. Intellectuals as subjects and objects of violence

(26) The hijacking of democracy by extremists in and outside of government is disassociated from the needs of Americans and as such instruments of dominant politics, power, and influence appear unaccountable. This unaccountability is supported by a culture of fear, warfare, greed, inequality and unbridled power formations which have gone into overdrive since the 1980s, reaching its authoritarian tipping point post-9/11. The ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown

(27) The mantras of neoliberalism are now well known: Government is the problem; Society is a fiction; Sovereignty is market-driven; Deregulation and commodification are vehicles for freedom; and Higher education should serve corporate interests rather than the public good. The yardstick of profit is the only viable measure of the good life. Public intellectuals against the Neoliberal University

(28) The language of the market offers the primary index of what possibilities the future holds, while jingoistic nationalism and racism register its apocalyptic underbelly. As a market economy becomes synonymous with a market society, democracy becomes both the repressed scandal of neoliberalism and its ultimate fear.  Hope in the age of looming authoritarianism

(29) America has not only lost its moral compass, but any vestige of credibility in its alleged support for equality, freedom, justice and democracy itself. The United States is not a banana republic, as some critics claim, but much worse. It has become the enemy of democracy and a symbol of the new authoritarianism. Radical democracy against cultures of violence

(30) Under the surveillance state, the greatest threat is not just privacy violation, but the fact that the dictates of arbitrary power are hardly contested. It is this existence of unchecked power and the wider culture of political indifference that puts at risk the principles of liberty, freedom and democracy itself. Totalitarian paranoia in the post-Orwellian surveillance state

(31) There is more at work here than the march toward privatization and the never-ending search for profits at any cost; there is the issue of wasteful spending on a bloated war machine, the refusal to tax fairly the rich and corporations, and the ongoing consolidation of class power in the hands of the 1 percent. Taking notes 32: Beyond neoliberal miseducation

(32) Citizens are reduced to data, consumers, and commodities. Within this machinery of social death, moral blindness prevail with the financial elite, and the inner worlds of the oppressed are constantly remade under force of economic pressures and a culture of fear. Neoliberalism and the machinery of disposability

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(33) Chomsky knows power is multifaceted, and he shows it also has a pedagogical function and must include a historical understanding of the public relations industry, existing and emerging cultural apparatuses; and that central to matters of power, agency, and the radical imagination, are modes of persuasion, the shaping of identities, and the molding of desire. Noam Chomsky and the public intellectual in turbulent times

(34) There are new waves of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism is driven by a kind of mad violence and form of self-sabotage, and if it does not come to an end, what we will experience is the destruction of human life and the planet itself. Protesting youth in an age of neoliberal savagery

(35) The state is no longer the center of politics. Neoliberalism has made a bonfire of the sovereign principles embodied in the social contract. Power and its modalities of violence are detached from the controlling political interests of the nation-state, utilizing technologies far beyond those imagined in the most exaggerating of 20th century fictions. Disposable futures

(36) What is missed in analysis of political and civic illiteracy is the degree to which they result in an unconscious flight from politics, and produce a moral coma that supports modern systems of terror and authoritarianism. Civic illiteracy is about the glorification and manufacture of ignorance on an individual scale and producing nationwide crisis of agency, memory and thinking itself. Anti-public intellectuals and the tyranny of manufactured forgetting

(37) Defending critical thought, thinking dangerously and theory are not the same as solely mounting a defense of academics as public intellectuals, or the university as the only site of critical thought, though both are important. When defined this way, theory is easily dismissed as an academic exercise and practice mediated through an impenetrable and often incomprehensible vocabulary. Thinking dangerously in an age of political betrayal

(38) What we are witnessing in this brutal killing and mobilization of state violence is symptomatic of the neoliberal, racist, punishing state emerging all over the world, with its encroaching machinery of social death. The neoliberal killing machine is on the march globally. Taking notes 38: The Militarization of racism and neoliberal violence

(39) Instead of responding to crises with the desire to correct a wrong and reimagine a different future, all that appears to be left in American culture is the desire to merely survive in the face of endless representations of state and non-state violence. Taking notes 39: Beyond the spectacle of neoliberal misery and violence in the age of terrorism

(40) We have a generation of youth who no longer believe they have a future that will be different from the present. We have the emergence of a disimagination machine that wages an assault on historical memory. It also points to the disappearance of that atomic moment as a further deepening of our own national psychosis. Remembering Hiroshima in an age of neoliberal barbarism

(41) If the sheer brutality of ISIS did not exist, it would have to be invented by the US. It symbolizes an extreme form of fundamentalist barbarism, and offers America a new enemy fitting its need to legitimate a culture and apparatuses of fear, spectacle of terrorism and machinery of militarism. ISIS and the spectacle of terrorism: Resisting mainstream workstations of fear

(42) Fear underlies US authoritarianism. This produces withdrawal, insecurity, paranoia and cynicism not rebellion among Americans. The call for collective rebellion appears more like a joke for late-night comics than serious rethinking of politics and an attempt to reclaim promises of a radical democracy. Beyond Orwellian nightmares and neoliberal authoritarianism

(43) The assault on the university as a center of critique and democratization has intensified, just as this attack expands to include intellectuals, campus protesters, a greater number of students of color and the critical formative cultures that provide a foundation for a substantive democracy. Higher education and the new brutalism

(44) Fear and terror are the organizing principles of a society in which the tyranny of the state has been replaced by the despotism of an unaccountable market and violence becomes the only valid form of control. The system has not failed, it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Taking notes 42: state terrorism and racist violence in the age of disposability

(45) Illegal legalities, moral depravity, and mad violence are now wrapped in the vocabulary of Orwellian doublethink. The rhetorical gymnastics of the torture squad are designed for the American public to believe that if you refer to torture by some innocuous name then the pain and suffering it causes disappears. Moral paralysis: torture and the violence of organized forgetting

(46) These are dangerous times. Compromise and compassion are viewed as pathology. In a society controlled by financial monsters, the political order is no longer sustained by faith in reason, critical thought and care for the other. Thought and dissent are disparaged, the assault on reason gives way to a crisis in politics. Barbarians at the gates: authoritarianism and the assault on public education

(47) Consumerism is the new religion in America and it promotes a swindle of fulfilment through its glitzy offering of the promise of a graveyard of rapidly disposable goods. Markets define not only how people live but who they are. The prison house of consumption mostly succeeds at the expense of any viable notion of critical citizenship. Death-dealing politics in the age of extreme violence

(48) Under neoliberalism, a persistent racism and politics of disposability are matched by a theater of cruelty in which immigrants, low-income whites, poor blacks, the unemployed and the homeless are throwaways and labeled less than human. Extreme violence is an American sport promoting delight in inflicting suffering. Hollywood heroism in the Age of Empire

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(49) There are flashpoints where the struggle to shape the university in the interest of a substantive democracy was visible. Rather than attempt to train MBAs, define education through the lens of mathematical utility, indoctrinate young people with capitalism, and turn students into mindless consumers, the university was a site of struggle. Higher education and the promise of insurgent public memory

(50) The shameful Walmarting of academic labor needs to be challenged and changed. Higher education will lose its focus and ability to teach students how to think critically and learn how to take risks as long as a large number of faculty are relegated to the status of part-time workers struggling to make ends meet financially. Higher education and the politics of disruption

(51) Graphic violence provides an outlet for Americans to express what resembles a spiritual release. Extreme violence, including the sanctioning of state torture, may be one of the few practices left that allows the Americans to feel alive, to mark what it means to be close to the register of death. Violence is infantilized, transformed into entertainment and a carnival of cruelty. Terrorism, violence, and the culture of madness

(52) We live at a time in which institutions that were designed to limit human suffering and indignity and protect the public from the boom and bust cycles of capitalist markets have been weakened or abolished. Free market policies, values and practices result in a privatization of public wealth. Finance capitalism drives politics, governance and policy. Domestic terrorism, youth and the politics of disposability

(53) Killings play in the mainstream media as a spectacle. The media does not examine the myriad of conditions that both produce and normalize such violence. After decades of political inaction abetted by a compliant media, the US has dissolved into a racist, militarized and corrupt financial state. The fire this time: Black youth and the spectacle of postracial violence

(54) Working-class youth are told they are too angry when they display passion, and too dumb when they speak in restricted code. The message is always the same. They are incomplete, unfinished, excess and disposable. For many of us that meant a life governed by poor schools and never escaping the wide reach of the criminal legal system. Flipping the script: rethinking working-class resistance

(55) The real drugs and social planning lie in an entertainment and public pedagogy industry that trades in pleasure and idiocy, most evident in the merging of neoliberalism, celebrity culture, and the control of commanding cultural apparatuses extending from Hollywood movies and video games to mainstream and the social media. Orwell, Huxley and America’s plunge into Authoritarianism

(56) Police harassment is integral to domestic terrorism in which blacks are beaten, arrested, incarcerated, and killed. This is the new totalitarianism of the boot-in-your-face racism, one in which the punishing state is the central institution for both controlling poor minorities of race and class and enforcing the rules of the financial elite.  Taking notes 48: America’s new brutalism: the death of Sandra Bland

(57) The controlling elite view schools as dangerous to their interests. For the financial elite, right-wing ideologues and billionaires public education must be defunded, broken and privatized because it contains the potential to educate young people to question authority and hold it accountable, and produce critically engaged citizens. Taking notes 50: Schools as punishing factories: the handcuffing of public education

(58) A reign of lawlessness is overtaking the United States as police violence and state terrorism result in the killing of an increasing number of black men, women, and young people. But such a list barely scratches the surface. Institutions that were once designed to serve the public good now wage war against all things public. The plague of American authoritarianism

(59) Mobility, in the empty language of sound bites, becomes the cure-all for racism in America. All poor blacks have to do is move to a better neighborhood. Missing is any understanding of the economic, political and social forces creating few opportunities in inner cities and how difficult it is to move without resources. Taking notes 51: Dark waters: Katrina and the politics of disposability

(60) Crimes committed in a systemic way emerge from a society where thinking is dangerous and non-thinking normalized. What Donald Trump represents is rarely talked about in the media. He is the most visible symbol of a terrifying  stage in American society haunted by the protean elements of a new totalitarianism. Donald Trump and the ghost of totalitarianism

(61) Thoughtlessness has become something that occupies a privileged place in the political landscape and the mainstream cultural apparatuses. A new kind of infantilism and culture of ignorance shapes daily life as agency devolves into a kind of anti-intellectual foolishness evident in the babble of banality which denounces reason. The curse of totalitarianism and the challenge of critical pedagogy

(62) Video presentation by Henry A. Giroux (2015): Youth, authoritarianism, and challenging neoliberalism’s politics of disposability

(63) As politics is emptied of social responsibility, the apostles of casino capitalism preach that amoral economic activity exacts no social costs, and so accelerate the expanding wasteland of disposable goods and people. One consequence is growing human suffering, amplified by retribution and violence. Terrorizing school children in the American police state

(64) Donald Trump’s comments form a discourse of hate, bigotry and exclusion, that are expressions of racism and fascism which resonate deeply in a landscape of US culture and politics crafted by 40 years of conservative counterrevolution. Taking notes 53: The fascism of Donald Trump’s America

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(65) Popular culture endlessly trades in violence and blurs the lines between the world of fantasies and the world we live in. Violence is celebrated in its myriad registers and platforms in a society amenable to the pathology of totalitarianism. A culture that thrives on violence runs the risk of losing its capacity to separate politics from violence. America’s addiction to violence

(66) In America it is more profitable to poison children than give them a decent life, incarcerate people rather than educate them and to push pernicious self-interest over morality and social responsibility. America is in age of increasing corruption, violence, trauma and survivalism. The poisoning of Flint: the specter of domestic terrorism

(67) Some justify Trump’s racism as representative of  a working class populist backlash against neoliberalism but deem irrelevant whether this backlash embraces an American form of fascism, ultra-nationalism, bigotry, religious fundamentalism and other anti-democratic attitudes. Taking notes 57: Liberal commentators who are apologists for Trump’s racism

(68) The need for resistance has become urgent. The struggle is not over specific institutions such as higher education or democratic procedures such as elections but over what it means to get to the root of the problems facing the United States and to draw more people into subversive actions modeled after historical struggles and contemporary movements. Taking notes 59: radical politics in the age of American authoritarianism

(69) Public school teachers and higher education faculty are a national treasure and may be one of the last defenses available to undermine a growing authoritarianism, pervasive racism, permanent war culture, widening inequality and debased notion of citizenship in US society. Taking notes 60: why teachers matter in dark times

(70) Ali taught a generation of young kids that their deficits were actually their strengths, that is, a sense of solidarity, compassion, a merging of the mind and the body, learning, and willingness to take risks, embracing passion, connecting knowledge to power, and being attentive to the injuries of others while embracing a sense of social justice. Taking notes 61: Muhammad Ali was a freedom fighter not a celebrity

(71)  What is also forgotten by many is the racist legacy of policies implemented by the Democratic Party that have resulted in a punitive culture of criminalization, incarceration and shooting of untold numbers of Black people. Taking notes 63 : Differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Tanya Golash-Boza: The global economy depends on a compliant labor force, in both the Global North and the Global South. When workers live in fear of forming unions, companies can easily fire workers or cut wages and benefits without having to worry about strikes, sit-ins, or labor regulations. They also work at the whims of their employer. Taking notes 55: how mass deportation sustains global apartheid (site specific)

Sandy Brian Hager: In the wake of the current crisis there has been an explosive rise in the level of the US public debt. These massive levels of public indebtedness are expected to keep growing unless there are drastic changes to existing budgetary policies. This apparent dilemma has sparked a debate over which groups should bear the burden of debt repayment and fiscal adjustment. However, one crucial question remains unasked: whose powerful interests are served by the public debt? America’s real ‘debt dilemma’

Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish: Social movements envision and seek to bring about fundamental change in the way society is reproduced. They seek to change government policy, institutional and organizational systems, or cultural norms and do not want society to be reproduced in its current form. Radical social movements see their problems as deeply rooted in the social order. Taking notes 40: The Radical Imagination: materials for struggle (site specific)

Michael Hardt: Video presentation by Michael Hardt (2012): On the right to the common

Marta Harnecker: (1) We need a left that promotes a pluralist and tolerant culture which prioritizes what unites us and sees as secondary what divides us. We need to promote values such as solidarity, humanism, respect for differences, defence of nature, and reject the pursuit of wealth and the laws of the market as guides for human activity; we must understand that radicalism is not about raising the most radical slogans nor carrying out the most radical actions. Conquering a new popular hegemony

(2) For Chávez, the art of politics was to make the impossible possible, not by pure voluntarism, but starting from the existing reality, seeking to create conditions for changing it, by building a correlation of forces favorable to change. Throughout the years of his administration, he worked masterfully to achieve it, knowing that, for the purpose of building political power, agreements at top leadership levels do not suffice. Taking notes 14: Remembering Chávez

Jeffrey Harrod: (1) In the global political economy the rule from the boardrooms of large banks and corporations has been sustained by powerful and seemingly unassailable ideologies such as free trade, growth through competition, freedom though private enterprise and democracy through markets. Taking notes 16: The rebellion has started

(2) Throughout history a minority held power and wealth, ruled society and exploited the population. They dominated through power. Social scientists, and particularly economists, have difficulty with this. Power cannot be measured as its wielders resist being studied. The structures created are designed to prevent power being revealed. Feudalism, capitalism and corporatism: How the corporation is changing the world (site specific)

David Harvey: (1) Since the late 1990s, the World Social Forum became the center for articulating the theme “another world is possible.” It must now take up the task of defining how another socialism or communism is possible and how the transition to these alternatives are to be accomplished. The current crisis offers a window of opportunity to reflect on what might be involved. A co-revolutionary theory

(2) Video presentation by David Harvey (2014): The 17 contradictions of capitalism

Chris Hedges: Video presentation by Chris Hedges (2015): The moral imperative of revolt

Ismael Hossein-zadeh (1) World War III is already here; it has indeed been raging on for years: the unilateral, cross-border neoliberal war of austerity economics that is waged by the transnational class of financial oligarchy against the overwhelming majority of world citizens, the global 99%. WW III: more interclass than international

(2) Contrary to the Keynesian perception, economic policy making is more than simply an administrative or technical matter of choice; more importantly, it is a deeply socio-political matter that is organically intertwined with the class nature of the state and the policy making apparatus. Keynes is Dead; Long Live Marx!

(3) How or why did economics as an important subject of inquiry into an understanding of social structures evolve into an apparently rigorous and technically elaborate discipline without much usefulness in the way of understanding or solving economic problems? Taking notes 41: Ideological foundations of neoclassical economics: class interests as “economic theory”

(4) The Fed has turned monetary policy into an instrument of further enriching the rich. Monetary policy has effectively turned into a means of redistribution from the bottom up. This is no speculation or conspiracy theory: redistributive effects of the Fed policies in favor of the financial oligarchy are backed by undeniable facts and figures. Taking notes 54: Who owns the Federal Reserve Bank and why is it shrouded in myths and mysteries?

Fredric Jameson: Video presentation by Fredric Jameson and Stanley Aronowitz (2014): An American utopia: Fredric Jameson in conversation with Stanley Aronowitz

Diana Johnstone: What is meant by “the world”? The Western ideological construct assumes that the world should care about human rights, but that only the West really does. That assumption is creating a deepening gap between the West and the rest of the world, which does not see things that way. To most of the real world, the West is seen as a cause of humanitarian disasters, not the cure. Taking notes 17: The good intentions that pave the road to war

George Katsiaficas: The 20th century will be remembered for when human beings began a struggle to transform the entire world system. Uprisings at the century’s end reveal people’s attempts to enact global justice. From the grassroots, millions of people around the world in the past three decades have constituted a protracted people’s uprising against capitalism and war. Without anyone telling people to do so, millions in the alterglobalization movement confronted elite meetings of the institutions of the world economic system.  Reflections on 1968 (site specific)

Douglas Kellner: The new media and social networking are new terrains in the struggle. The Occupy movements have the same decentralized structure as the computer networks they are using. The movement as a whole has a virtual dimension as well as people organized in specific spaces. Even if people are not living in the spaces where the actual occupying takes place they can participate virtually and be mobilized to participate in specific actions. Insurrection as media spectacle

Ruth Kinna: (1) The energy of the Occupy movement has been described as a shift in global revolutionary tactics for democracy against corporatocracy. Like previous movements for social justice, it brings defiant protest together with an openly utopian politics that captures public attention in ways the preceding ones did not. Anarchism, protest and utopianism (site specific)

(2) Rreform is utopian when resistance is designed to acquire a critical dimension in furtherance of a transformative, alternative ideal. Critical utopias are intended to bring about transformations that are responsive to the concerns, needs and wants of their creators and dreamers. Practising (for) utopia (site specific)

Gavin Kitching: The Occupy movement provides a rare shaft of light and hope. It was the first to insist that national problems and crises have international causes and must be tackled internationally. But the challenge is how to do this and it led to the movement’s enemies claiming it did not have solutions. This misses the point of what the movement is actually achieving. Capitalism and the problem of collective action (site specific)

P. J. Laska: (1) To understand how the mass of capital and great credit expansion that sustained the American way of life are connected to the collapse of financial capitalism, it is necessary to replace the Meltdown metaphor with something better. What happened resembles more a caridac arrest: Credit — the life blood of financial capitalism — ceased to flow and the organ of accumulation is on life-support. Nightfall: Dimming of the dream and search for an alternative

(2) The American Way of Life is a socio-economic paradigm for living at extremes of consumption. It is a throwaway society whose unsustainable excesses are a necessary condition of its continuance. This pathology of economic growth is accompanied by deficiencies that include poverty, illness, drug addiction and widespread mental disorders. Nightfall II: Endgame for the American Way of Life

(3) The only way for the oppressed classes to maintain continuity is to continually recover it for living memory by means of art and culture in which content is equal to form and not divorced from it. In the late modern era, capitalism goes from Depression to Meltdown, yet the ruling culture presents itself as the stable source of continuity. Beyond the postmodern “moment”: Utopianism, aestheticism, and the avant-garde

Angelo J. Letizia: (1) Education at all levels and places cannot simply be subversive to the present order, but rather, it must be dialectal. Dialectal education is not an abstract notion detached from the world; it draws its power from the contradictions of the past, from the injustices of the present and promises of the future. Students must become dialectal beings: imbued with dialectal capabilities and the potential for positive social change. Teaching democracy and revolution (site specific)

(2) Have we the courage to part with globalization and neoliberalism? Perhaps it cannot simply die, perhaps it must be killed. Perhaps 9/11 and the 2008 crash were not capitalism’s death, but spasms showing the world that it is ready to die, if we have the courage to kill it. Until we are ready to kill it, it repairs its damage and strengthens itself. We must be taught that global capitalism can die and that we must kill it by dialectically surpassing it. Creating history through unfreezing it from neoliberal totalitarianism (site specific)

(3) We now live in the age of global capitalism. What does historical and social movement look like in this age of advanced capitalism? Where do changes occur and how? For this question, we must start with the individual. We need to dissect the many societal occurrences that impact an individual. Society is not a fiction as many neoliberals hold, but it does make sense to examine the smallest building block of society and progress outwards. End of Enlightenment? Not if we fight for it (site specific)

(4) Servant leaders must develop the potential of followers, cultivate a shared vision and try their best to help each follower achieve this vision. They are ethical-centric and instead of using autocratic means effectively communicate with others. Importantly, they actively solicit feedback and act upon it. Radical servant leadership: cultivating information citizens (site specific)

(5) This is the new barbarism: when scholars only demand scientific and rational evidence, as they may be succumbing to the barbarism of efficiency and cold hard logic because they will not listen to anything outside of science which may be of use. God as justice, not dogma (site specific)

Paul Levy: It is clear we are in the process of destroying ourselves as a species. It seems we are performing a species-wide eco-suicide ritual in a cosmic anti-sacred ceremony that will leave no one around to experience the end result. Our scientific, technological wizardry has surpassed our wildest dreams. The question is: will our emotional, spiritual and moral qualities continue to lag far behind, and thus doom us to a morbid future of our own making? Duped by the Beast of War

Daniel Little: A world order that is not grounded in a permanent commitment to human dignity and justice is criticized from the perspective of morality and is likely to be an increasingly unstable and violent arena for deep and desperate conflict. We need to commit ourselves in practical and enduring ways to the establishment of global justice, an end to poverty, and the extension of effective democratic and human rights to all persons in all countries. Global economic justice

Mark Manolopoulos: Philosophy, in both its analytic and Continental guises, has predominantly failed, betraying itself and the world. Only very recently have philosophers begun to speak of love, of wisdom – indeed, of the love of wisdom, which is the very meaning of the word philosophy. Revolutionary philosophy and philosophers: a plea and a program (site specific)

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Peter McLaren: If we wish to break from alienated labor then we must break completely with the logic of capitalist accumulation and profit: something Marx and Jesus would agree on. As a result, we covenant our participation in the life history of the world through an endless struggle that constitutes permanent revolution. Comrade Jesus: an epistolic manifesto

Sammy Medina: We ask: Where does architecture stand at present, in terms of its history? Are we still postmodern? What social and political tasks remain unfulfilled carried over from the twentieth century, in a world scattered with the ruins of modernity? Does the specter of modernism, still haunt contemporary building? How can architecture be responsibly practiced today? Is revolutionary architecture still even possible? Taking notes 23: Architecture: A social and political history since 1848

István Mészáros: Capital itself is an all-embracing mode of control. It either controls everything or it implodes as a system of societal reproductive control. All measures in contolling it on a lasting basis have failed. In view of its structurally entrenched uncontrollability, capital must be completely eradicated. This is the central meaning of Marx’s life work. Structural crisis needs structural change

Steven Miller: (1) Microelectronics is changing the nature of property. In the past private property was in land; it was tangible. Now property can be intangible, such as software, algorithms, and ideas. But private property is still the divine right of thugs. Thanks to the Supreme Court, we understand these thugs are “corporate people”. We also realise that corporations exhibit characteristics of a very specific kind of person – namely psychopaths. The surveillance state and digital deformartion

(2) The reality of Economic Abundance is carefully censored and hidden, because it immediately raises the issue that people have the capacity and the tools to completely re-organize the economy to eliminate vast human suffering caused by poverty. It does not even cost very much. As the world economy lurches from crisis to crisis, it is time to accept that the system is on the way out. Taking notes 29: Abundance and Apocalypse

(3) Corporations are a carcinogen, a cancer that grows at the expense of the human body, both publicly and individually. As they unleash crisis after crisis, they are systematically destroying the institutions of society. That means we have no choice but to build new institutions that benefit the public in all directions. This will require a historic political battle that will heal humanity and the planet. Taking notes 30: Privatizing the brain

(4) It is a fact that a class of billionaires, principally based in finance and speculation, control the levers of society. Since the Crash of 2008, the 1% has been waging a war against society that drives the 99% further towards disaster and ruin. Their End Game is the complete privatization of everything owned by the public. This process is inevitable as long as political power remains in their hands. Takeover

Franco Moretti & Dominique Pestre Actions and processes are devoid of humans. Before a word, one can no longer see, or imagine, a concrete subject engaged in a decision. ‘Rendition’: an American secret agency kidnaps foreign citizens to hand them over to another secret service, elsewhere, that will torture them. In ‘rendition’, it’s all gone. It’s magic. Bankspeak: the language of World Bank reports

Satish Musunuru: Microelectronics is changing the nature of property. In the past private property was in land; it was tangible. Now property can be intangible, such as software, algorithms, and ideas. But private property is still the divine right of thugs. Thanks to the Supreme Court, we understand these thugs are “corporate people”. We also realise that corporations exhibit characteristics of a very specific kind of person – namely psychopaths. The surveillance state and digital deformartion