søndag den 23. oktober 2011


Quote of the day: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

"To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. ... To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

Proudhon: The General Idea of the Revolution(1851).

onsdag den 19. oktober 2011

Crushing Captalism with Direct Action.

By Thomas Bonde.

The existence of the corporate capitalist system is highly dependent upon the economic inputs of ordinary working people. It is thus to a significant degree the cooperation of ordinary working people that makes the system possible. Engaging consciously in non-cooperative direct action is therefore a potent way of undermining the system.

Move Your Money:

Do not let your money work for large multinational banks that make considerable amounts of money on centralizing wealth in the hands of the few without any regard to the needs of ordinary people and/or the necessity of sustainable economic activity and development. Regardless of how little you may own, do not let your money work for their shortsighted and destructive production of profit for the wealthiest. If it is any way possible for you, it is strongly recommended that you move your money to a cooperative and egalitarian bank that puts great emphasis on supporting a sustainable collective evolution of humanity.

Build Cooperatives:

One of the primary problems inherent in the globalized corporate capitalist system is what we might call the ownership problem. Gigantic centrally planned multinational corporations dominate the prevailing economic system. They are characteristic by being owned by relatively few people who are often not themselves members of the productive labor force within the organization. The primary producers of value i.e. the laborers, are therefore not the receivers of the full fruit of their toil, but instead sell their time and life for fixed wages detached from the amount of profit generated.

Another characteristic is the centralized planning at the top level of these hierarchical organizations and their top-down decision-making structures. This typically means that the workers do not have any influence on what is produced and how the profits are to be distributed and/or reinvested. If you consider this an unjust state of affairs then you should apply the aforementioned principle of non-cooperation and avoid selling your life, labor and time to such organizations. Instead it is advisable to team up with others in a spirit of mutuality and solidarity and start organizations that are co-owned and cooperatively run on an egalitarian basis in ways that give everyone a say on how profits are distributed and spent.

Conscious consumerism:

Another aspect of non-cooperative direct action is conscious consumerism. Not spending your money to the advantage of corporate structures of economic power, but instead using them in ways that support the above-mentioned cooperative organizations, is an easy and effective way of directly combating corporate capitalism while simultaneously supporting and strengthening sustainable and just alternatives.

Use Alternative Currencies:

There are many alternative forms of currency already in use around the world of both monetary and non-monetary varieties. By using these to the greatest possible extent, instead of using the dominant currencies issued by central banks, you are contributing to the subversion of corporate capitalism (at least to the degree that they are not themselves partaking in the use of these alternative currencies). Non-monetary alternative currencies such as time banks are especially interesting and have great subversive potential in that they can not be taxed and the possibility of subsidizing corporate entities through the taxation of your labor is therefore greatly diminished.

Raise Awareness:

By doing any or all of the above you are already participating in the anti-capitalist struggle by setting a personal example that hopefully will inspire many others, but why stop there? You may also want to consider raising awareness about the systematic repression inherent in the capitalist system. This can be done in many ways and it is really only your imagination that limits you here. You can for example organize public screenings of critical and in-depth documentaries or invite interesting anti-capitalist voices to come and debate and educate people near you or you can join an organization that already has a history of raising awareness and support their work with your time and labor. Of course there is also the by now obvious possibility of participating in one of the many occupations of public space currently going on in cities around the world.

Keep the spirit high. The struggle continues!

tirsdag den 18. oktober 2011

Flyt dine penge.

Flyt dine penge, uanset hvor få du måtte eje, over i et kooperativt pengeinstitut med en flad organisationsstruktur og et stærkt fokus på bæredygtighed og styrkelse af fællesskaber. Hermed links til tre af slagsen. Et af de stærkeste våben i kampen mod spekulanterne er vores mulighed for ikke at samarbejde med dem, så lad være med at lade dine penge, uanset om du blot ejer en tyver, arbejde for store banker der er ligeglade med almindelige menneskers behov.


lørdag den 15. oktober 2011

Persondyrkelse kontra tænkning.

I "Det Kommunistiske Manifest" kan der ikke herske den store tvivl om, at Marx agiterer for en autoritær samfundsorden, organiseret på statsligt niveau. Efter revolutionen skal proletariatets diktatur "centralisere alle produktionsinstrumenter i statens hænder", foretage en "centralisering af kreditten i statens hænder ved hjælp af en nationalbank med statskapital og absolut monopol" samt foretage en "centralisering af transportvæsenet i statens hænder", mens det hedder sig, at man skal indføre "lige arbejdstvang for alle" og der desuden opfordrers til "oprettelse af industrielle armeer, særlig indenfor landbruget".

Om dette skrev Bakunin i 1873: "The leaders of the Communist Party, namely Mr. Marx and his followers, will concentrate the reins of government in a strong hand. They will centralize all commercial, industrial, agricultural, and even scientific production, and then divide the masses into two armies — industrial and agricultural — under the direct command of state engineers, who will constitute a new privileged scientific and political class."

Er der her tale om et uretfærdigt angreb på en politisk modstander eller snarere om hvad man retmæssigt kan udlede af Marx' egne ord i "Det Kommunistiske Manifest"? Det forekommer åbenlyst, at der er tale om det sidste, idet det vist giver sig selv, at såfremt staten råder over alle produktionsinstrumenterne, transporten og kreditten og tvinger folk til at arbejde (for staten), så har staten arbejderklassen i et jerngreb.

At man også kan påvise visse autoritære elementer i Bakunins tænkning er knap så interessant, vil jeg tillade mig at mene, idet Bakunin overhovedet ikke spiller samme rolle i anarkismen (eller historien) som Marx gør i marxismen. Der er ikke, så vidt vides, nogen indflydelsesrig og levende anarkistisk retning som kalder sig bakunisme. Bakunin var desuden også glødende antisemitisk i nogle tekster, hvilket der ikke er nogen grund til at forsvare eller tale udenom, med mindre man gør sig i persondyrkelse.

Hos folk med en enorm skriftlig produktion kan man ofte finde selvmodsigelser og agitation for modsatrettede tanker. I Marx' tekster kan man således finde både libertære og autoritære tanker. I sidste ende er det væsentlige imidlertid nok, hvilke skrifter der har haft mest indflydelse på historiens gang og der hersker her ikke den store tvivl om, at Marx' autoritære side har haft mere indflydelse på historien, end hans mere libertære side. Den anarkistiske filosof Crispin Sartwell, som mener at Marx var en langt bedre tænker end Bakunin, er her værd at citere:

The project of making [..] Marx come out as right as possible is a silly project, and one entirely unworthy of an actual thinker. Take what's right; reject the rest. Why not? Why not just say he's wrong about "industrial armies" etc., but right about x, y, and z? Why? because you're a follower not a philosopher. In which case, I don't actually need to read what you write or think about what you say. [...] You should read Marx exactly like you read any arguments, accounts, assertions: critically. You should take what you can use or what you can argue for or what works and leave all the rest without a moment's hesitation. [...] Don't defend Marx at all costs, or at any cost at all: take what's right and leave what's not: it doesn't matter. Marx is dead; he's not going to be impressed that you agree with him. [marxism] is supposed to be some kind of philosophy, science, history: not a religion that demands you're unquestioning capitulation to its myriad absurdities.
Hvis en politisk filosofi degenererer til persondyrkelse af ideologiske patriarker, ophører den med at være filosofi, idet tænkningens ædle kunst af nødvendighed må være funderet på spørgen og tvivlen, hvorfor tænkningen altså må betegnes som grundlæggende anti-autoritær. I modsætning hertil har vi overbevisningen, som er kendetegnet ved, at al tvivl og spørgen er bragt til ophør. Den som med næb og klør forsvarer sine ideologiske overbevisningers ophavsmænd, selv når de kommer med de mest menneskefjendske argumenter, er snarere overbevist som religiøse mennesker, end tvivlende og spørgende, som tænkende mennesker. I stedet for overbevisningens fangenskab indenfor en given ideologisk matrices perspektiv, bør vi kultivere en sund skepsis overfor ethvert perspektiv som postulerer at være det eneste sande. Emancipation foregår ikke kun på det sociale/intersubjektive plan, med ligeledes på det kognitive/subjektive plan.  

Michael Moore: Why the Occupy Wall Street Movement Can't Be Stopped.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

fredag den 14. oktober 2011

Immortal Technique at Occupy Wall Street: "We are here to stay"

Vi er forandringen. Vi er det nye alternativ.

Vi ser ingen positiv fremtid i en økonomi baseret på spekulanter og købmænd som kun tænker på at tjene penge, uden hensyn til andre menneskers og naturens behov. Vi ønsker en økonomi der tjener mennesket på en bæredygtig og retfærdig måde. En økonomi som er til gavn for alle, i stedet for som nu, hvor alt for mange tjener en uretfærdig og ubæredygtig økonomi, der mestendels er til gavn for de få.

Vi ser friheden som en af de vigtigste drivkræfter i den positive udvikling af menneskeheden og ønsker derfor et samfund hvor den enkelte har den størst mulige frihed til at gøre som han eller hun måtte ønske, så længe disse handlinger ikke skader andres muligheder for at gøre som de ønsker. Vores frihed slutter hvor andres frihed begynder. Vælger vi at følge denne enkle læresætning i vores liv vil meget være opnået.

Vi mener at sammenhold og solidaritet er vigtige forudsætninger for en positiv, kollektiv udvikling af vores fællesskaber og opfordrer derfor alle til at være solidariske, samarbejdende og delende i alle livets mange rum. Hver for sig er vi svage og skrøbelige enkeltpersoner. Kun ved at stå sammen, samarbejde og dele livets glæder, opnår vi den nødvendige styrke til at skabe positiv kollektiv forandring.

Vi ser frem til at dele fremtidens fællesskaber med mennesker, der ligesom os, mest af alt blot ønsker at være frie og elskede og som derfor giver andre mennesker plads til at være frie, elskede og elskende. Kærligheden og friheden er de vigtigste kræfter i verden. Med dem er vi uendeligt stærke og ressourcefulde, mens vi uden dem er arme stakler på fast kurs mod undergangen. Det er derfor på høje tid at vi lader kærligheden og friheden vinde over frygten og dens nære slægtning - den usikre, barnlige egoisme.

Vi ønsker et samfund hvor der er frihed til forskellighed og hvor mange farver på paletten betragtes som en rigdom og en styrke. Vi anser mangfoldighed og åbenhed overfor andre perspektiver på tilværelsen end vores egne for en uvurderlig styrke. Vi ønsker derfor et samfund hvor der er plads til diversitet.

Vi mener det er af højeste vigtighed, at vi værner om den natur som garanterer vores overlevelse og som eneste dag forsyner os med produkter som er vigtige for vores overlevelse. Vi anser derfor bæredygtighed og styrkelser af naturen for at være nødvendige forudsætninger for en positiv kollektiv nutid og fremtid ifælleskab på planeten Jorden.

Vi er trætte af at blive domineret af mennesker, som mener de er bedre egnet end os til at træffe væsentlige beslutninger, som påvirker vores allesammens dagligdag. Vi ønsker direkte indflydelse på måden hvorpå vores fællesskaber indrettes og styres og vi ønsker derfor muligheden for, at være medbestemmende og medstyrende i alle de institutioner som vi, vores forældre og børn, befinder os i.

fredag den 23. september 2011

Kropotkin: Appeal to the Young.

Don't let anyone tell us that we—but a small band—are
too weak to attain unto the magnificent end at which we aim.
Count and see how many there are who suffer this injustice.
We peasants who work for others, and who mumble the
straw while our master eats the wheat, we by ourselves are

We workers who weave silks and velvet in order that we
may be clothed in rags, we, too, are a great multitude; and
when the clang of the factories permits us a moments repose,
we overflow the streets and squares like the sea in a
spring tide.

We soldiers who are driven along to the word of command,
or by blows, we who receive the bullets for which our
officers get crosses and pensions, we, too, poor fools who have
hitherto known no better than to shoot our brothers, why we
have only to make a right about face towards these plumed
and decorated personages who are so good as to command
us, to see a ghastly pallor overspread their faces.

Aye, all of us together, we who suffer and are insulted
daily, we are a multitude whom no one can number, we are
the ocean that can embrace and swallow up all else. When
we have but the will to do it, that very moment will justice
be done: that very instant the tyrants of the earth shall bite
the dust.

- Pyotr Kropotkin, "An Appeal to the Young," 1880

mandag den 19. september 2011

Autoritær socialisme er statskapitalisme.

Begrebet socialisme synes at implicere, at der er tale om et prosocialt snarere end om et asocialt fænomen og det er derfor nok på sin plads, at forsøge at komme med et gangbart bud på hvad begrebet social implicerer. Ordet kommer af det latinske socialis som knytter sig til det ligeledes latinske socius der betyder følgesvend, men fortæller de etymologiske rødder os noget om, hvad det sociale er indbegrebet af?

Mellem to følgesvende er der snarere tale om et nogenlunde lige forhold, end der er tale om et forhold karakteristisk ved, at den ene part dominerer den anden og påtvinger denne sine meninger og præferencer. At følges ad implicerer noget jævnbyrdigt, mens at følge efter, eller at følge ordrer, nok nærmere implicerer det modsatte.

Ordet social har altså derfor sine sproglige rødder i noget der nok ikke ligger væk langt fra hvad de fleste vel mener når de taler om, at en person er et meget socialt væsen. For når vi synes at nogen handler socialt, mener vi vel i reglen, at vedkommende handler på en måde som er opretholdende for det sociale forhold, ved at give plads til den anden, i stedet for at dominere ham eller hende. Modsat mener vi vel ofte, når vi taler om at en person handler asocialt, at vi har at gøre med et menneske som ikke giver plads til sine medmennesker, men som i stedet forsøger at påtvinge dem sine egne egoistiske præferencer. Den asociale handler altså på en måde der er ødelæggende for det sociale forhold, mens den sociale opretholder og styrker det.

Ovenstående forsøg på en indkredsning af hvad der kendetegner det sociale, som et kendetegn ved socialisme, er imidlertid vanskeligt foreneligt med det meste af den statsindlejrede og autoritære socialisme vi har været og fortsat er vidner til. Den autoritære, statsopretholdende - eller endda statsekspanderende - variant af socialismen er en selvmodsigelse.

Ønsker man, som mange venstreorienterede påstår, at destruere klassesamfundets indbyggede sociale uligheder, er svaret derfor ikke mere stat, men mindre. I et samfund hvor staten overtager alle produktionsmidlerne bliver alle - undtagen de som styrer staten - gjort til proletarer og man har således ikke forringet, endsige destrueret, klassesamfundets uretfærdige og asociale dominansstrukturer, men derimod gjort dem endnu mere omfattende qua proletariseringen af alle. Den herskende kapitalistiske klasse er godt nok blevet sendt hen hvor peberet gror, men erstatningen, i form af en herskende statslig klasse, kan ikke siges at have elimineret kapitalismens indbyggede autoritære og derfor asociale uretfærdighed. Uretfærdigheden har blot fået et andet navn.

Hvis socialismens mål er etableringen af gunstige, frigjorte og sociale forhold for arbejderne på deres arbejdspladser, realiseres dette derfor ikke ved at udskifte et autoritært og således asocialt forhold med et andet, for hvilken frigørelse fra det autoritære og asociale klassesamfunds snærende bånd skulle man derved have opnået? Arbejdernes fælles ejerskab af produktionsmidlerne står altså derfor i skarp kontrast til et statsligt ejerskab af disse. I første tilfælde ejes og forvaltes produktionsmidlerne kollektivt af arbejderne selv i en ikke-hierarkisk og horisontal organisationsstruktur. I det andet ejes og forvaltes produktionsmidlerne af nationalstaten i en hierarkisk og vertikal organisationsstruktur, idet disse er statens organisatoriske kendetegn. Når arbejderne kollektivt ejer og forvalter produktionsmidlerne på en ikke-hierarkisk og horisontal måde er der endvidere tale om en strukturel decentralisering, mens der i det nationalstatsejede tilfælde, i modsætning hertil, er tale om en strukturel centralisering, da staten per definition er et centralistisk fænomen.

Nationaliseringer af produktionsmidlerne kan derfor ikke siges at være prosociale, men må snarere siges at være asociale, idet der er tale om en styrkelse af det autoritære og socialt ulige forhold som den autoritære og vertikale stats organisatoriske struktur implicerer. Overtager staten produktionsmidlerne foretages der derfor ikke et egentligt opgør med kapitalismen. Det er blot tale om et skift fra en privatejet kapitalisme til en statsejet. Statssocialismen kan derfor vanskeligt siges at leve op til den ligebyrdige socialitet som begrebet socialisme synes at implicere, men må snarere siges at undergrave denne ligebyrdighed ved at fortsætte den asociale, hierarkiske og dominansorienterede kapitalisme, blot med andre midler og under andre ejerskabsformer.

tirsdag den 13. september 2011

Tænk hvis....

Tænk hvis alle centrale magtformer var blevet sendt hen hvor peberet gror i 1900. Det kan let tænkes at verden i så fald ville have været lykkeligt foruden rigtig mange sørgelige fænomener og begivenheder. Uden centrale magtformer...

- Ingen grænser.

- Ingen verdenskrige, kold krig eller andre statsligt funderede krige.

- Ingen atomvåben og mutually assured destruction.

- Ingen subsidiering af våbensektoren og sandsynligvis meget mindre oprustning.

- Ingen arbejds- og udryddelseslejre.

- Ingen Holocaust, Halabja eller Hiroshima.

- Ingen stalinisme, maoisme, nazisme, fascisme eller neoliberalisme.

- Ingen systematisk tortur begået i statsligt regi.

- Ingen magtfulde efterretningstjenester og politistater.

- Ingen topstyrede militære organisationer.

- Ingen administrativ uigennemsigtighed.

- Ingen centrale statslige propagandaorganer.

- Ingen centralbanker eller centraladministrationer.

- Ingen politikere eller embedsmænd.

- Ingen kriminalisering af offerløse handlinger.

- Ingen tvangsskoling, tvangsaktivering eller værnepligt.

- Ingen EU, NATO eller Amerikansk imperialisme.

- Ingen OPEC, Verdensbank, IMF eller WTO.

- Ingen transnationale selskaber eller globaliseret kapitalisme.

Herman Daly - on Globalisation

mandag den 12. september 2011

Dagens Citat: Hermann Göring

9/11: When truth became a casualty of war.

Dagens Citat: Noam Chomsky.

"Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us."

The Responsibility of Intellectuals.

lørdag den 10. september 2011

"In most important ways you are probably already an anarchist — you just don’t realize it."

Are You An Anarchist?

by David Graeber.

Chances are you have already heard something about who anarchists are and what they are supposed to believe. Chances are almost everything you have heard is nonsense. Many people seem to think that anarchists are proponents of violence, chaos, and destruction, that they are against all forms of order and organization, or that they are crazed nihilists who just want to blow everything up. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists are simply people who believe human beings are capable of behaving in a reasonable fashion without having to be forced to. It is really a very simple notion. But it’s one that the rich and powerful have always found extremely dangerous.

At their very simplest, anarchist beliefs turn on to two elementary assumptions. The first is that human beings are, under ordinary circumstances, about as reasonable and decent as they are allowed to be, and can organize themselves and their communities without needing to be told how. The second is that power corrupts. Most of all, anarchism is just a matter of having the courage to take the simple principles of common decency that we all live by, and to follow them through to their logical conclusions. Odd though this may seem, in most important ways you are probably already an anarchist — you just don’t realize it.

Let’s start by taking a few examples from everyday life:

If there’s a line to get on a crowded bus, do you wait your turn and refrain from elbowing your way past others even in the absence of police?

If you answered “yes”, then you are used to acting like an anarchist! The most basic anarchist principle is self-organization: the assumption that human beings do not need to be threatened with prosecution in order to be able to come to reasonable understandings with each other, or to treat each other with dignity and respect.

Everyone believes they are capable of behaving reasonably themselves. If they think laws and police are necessary, it is only because they don’t believe that other people are not. But if you think about it, don’t those people all feel exactly the same way about you? Anarchists argue that almost all the anti-social behavior which makes us think it’s necessary to have armies, police, prisons, and governments to control our lives, is actually caused by the systematic inequalities and injustice those armies, police, prisons and governments make possible. It’s all a vicious circle. If people are used to being treated like their opinions do not matter, they are likely to become angry and cynical, even violent — which of course makes it easy for those in power to say that their opinions do not matter. Once they understand that their opinions really do matter just as much as anyone else’s, they tend to become remarkably understanding. To cut a long story short: anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself, and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

Are you a member of a club or sports team or any other voluntary organization where decisions are not imposed by one leader but made on the basis of general consent?

If you answered “yes”, then you belong to an organization which works on anarchist principles! Another basic anarchist principle is voluntary association. This is simply a matter of applying democratic principles to ordinary life. The only difference is that anarchists believe it should be possible to have a society in which everything could be organized along these lines, all groups based on the free consent of their members, and therefore, that all top-down, military styles of organization like armies or bureaucracies or large corporations, based on chains of command, would no longer be necessary. Perhaps you don’t believe that would be possible. Perhaps you do. But every time you reach an agreement by consensus, rather than threats, every time you make a voluntary arrangement with another person, come to an understanding, or reach a compromise by taking due consideration of the other person’s particular situation or needs, you are being an anarchist — even if you don’t realize it.

Anarchism is just the way people act when they are free to do as they choose, and when they deal with others who are equally free — and therefore aware of the responsibility to others that entails. This leads to another crucial point: that while people can be reasonable and considerate when they are dealing with equals, human nature is such that they cannot be trusted to do so when given power over others. Give someone such power, they will almost invariably abuse it in some way or another.

Do you believe that most politicians are selfish, egotistical swine who don’t really care about the public interest? Do you think we live in an economic system which is stupid and unfair?

If you answered “yes”, then you subscribe to the anarchist critique of today’s society — at least, in its broadest outlines. Anarchists believe that power corrupts and those who spend their entire lives seeking power are the very last people who should have it. Anarchists believe that our present economic system is more likely to reward people for selfish and unscrupulous behavior than for being decent, caring human beings. Most people feel that way. The only difference is that most people don’t think there’s anything that can be done about it, or anyway — and this is what the faithful servants of the powerful are always most likely to insist — anything that won’t end up making things even worse.

But what if that weren’t true?

And is there really any reason to believe this? When you can actually test them, most of the usual predictions about what would happen without states or capitalism turn out to be entirely untrue. For thousands of years people lived without governments. In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. Mostly they just get on about their lives the same as anyone else would. Of course, in a complex, urban, technological society all this would be more complicated: but technology can also make all these problems a lot easier to solve. In fact, we have not even begun to think about what our lives could be like if technology were really marshaled to fit human needs. How many hours would we really need to work in order to maintain a functional society — that is, if we got rid of all the useless or destructive occupations like telemarketers, lawyers, prison guards, financial analysts, public relations experts, bureaucrats and politicians, and turn our best scientific minds away from working on space weaponry or stock market systems to mechanizing away dangerous or annoying tasks like coal mining or cleaning the bathroom, and distribute the remaining work among everyone equally? Five hours a day? Four? Three? Two? Nobody knows because no one is even asking this kind of question. Anarchists think these are the very questions we should be asking.

Do you really believe those things you tell your children(or that your parents told you)?

It doesn’t matter who started it.” “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Clean up your own mess.” “Do unto others...” “Don’t be mean to people just because they’re different.” Perhaps we should decide whether we’re lying to our children when we tell them about right and wrong, or whether we’re willing to take our own injunctions seriously. Because if you take these moral principles to their logical conclusions, you arrive at anarchism.

Take the principle that two wrongs don’t make a right. If you really took it seriously, that alone would knock away almost the entire basis for war and the criminal justice system. The same goes for sharing: we’re always telling children that they have to learn to share, to be considerate of each other’s needs, to help each other; then we go off into the real world where we assume that everyone is naturally selfish and competitive. But an anarchist would point out: in fact, what we say to our children is right. Pretty much every great worthwhile achievement in human history, every discovery or accomplishment that’s improved our lives, has been based on cooperation and mutual aid; even now, most of us spend more of our money on our friends and families than on ourselves; while likely as not there will always be competitive people in the world, there’s no reason why society has to be based on encouraging such behavior, let alone making people compete over the basic necessities of life. That only serves the interests of people in power, who want us to live in fear of one another. That’s why anarchists call for a society based not only on free association but mutual aid. The fact is that most children grow up believing in anarchist morality, and then gradually have to realize that the adult world doesn’t really work that way. That’s why so many become rebellious, or alienated, even suicidal as adolescents, and finally, resigned and bitter as adults; their only solace, often, being the ability to raise children of their own and pretend to them that the world is fair. But what if we really could start to build a world which really was at least founded on principles of justice? Wouldn’t that be the greatest gift to one’s children one could possibly give?

Do you believe that human beings are fundamentally corrupt and evil, or that certain sorts of people (women, people of color, ordinary folk who are not rich or highly educated) are inferior specimens, destined to be ruled by their betters?

If you answered “yes”, then, well, it looks like you aren’t an anarchist after all. But if you answered “no”, then chances are you already subscribe to 90% of anarchist principles, and, likely as not, are living your life largely in accord with them. Every time you treat another human with consideration and respect, you are being an anarchist. Every time you work out your differences with others by coming to reasonable compromise, listening to what everyone has to say rather than letting one person decide for everyone else, you are being an anarchist. Every time you have the opportunity to force someone to do something, but decide to appeal to their sense of reason or justice instead, you are being an anarchist. The same goes for every time you share something with a friend, or decide who is going to do the dishes, or do anything at all with an eye to fairness.

Now, you might object that all this is well and good as a way for small groups of people to get on with each other, but managing a city, or a country, is an entirely different matter. And of course there is something to this. Even if you decentralize society and puts as much power as possible in the hands of small communities, there will still be plenty of things that need to be coordinated, from running railroads to deciding on directions for medical research. But just because something is complicated does not mean there is no way to do it democratically. It would just be complicated. In fact, anarchists have all sorts of different ideas and visions about how a complex society might manage itself. To explain them though would go far beyond the scope of a little introductory text like this. Suffice it to say, first of all, that a lot of people have spent a lot of time coming up with models for how a really democratic, healthy society might work; but second, and just as importantly, no anarchist claims to have a perfect blueprint. The last thing we want is to impose prefab models on society anyway. The truth is we probably can’t even imagine half the problems that will come up when we try to create a democratic society; still, we’re confident that, human ingenuity being what it is, such problems can always be solved, so long as it is in the spirit of our basic principles-which are, in the final analysis, simply the principles of fundamental human decency.

torsdag den 8. september 2011

Percy Bysshe Shelley: "Song To The Men Of England"

Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed and clothe and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat -nay, drink your blood?

Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil?

Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love's gentle balm?
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?

The seed ye sow another reaps;
The wealth ye find another keeps;
The robes ye weave another wears;
The arms ye forge another bears.

Sow seed, -but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth, -let no imposter heap;
Weave robes, -let not the idle wear;
Forge arms, in your defence to bear.

Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells;
In halls ye deck another dwells.
Why shake the chains ye wrought? Ye see
The steel ye tempered glance on ye.

With plough and spade and hoe and loom,
Trace your grave, and build your tomb,
And weave your winding-sheet, till fair
England be your sepulchre!

fredag den 2. september 2011

Top CIA Official: Obama Changed Virtually None of Bush’s Controversial Programs

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Dagens Citat: Étienne de La Boétie

I should like merely to understand how it happens
that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so
many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant
who has no other power than the power they give him;
who is able to harm them only to the extent to which
they have the willingness to bear with him; who could
do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to
put up with him rather than contradict him.

- Étienne de La Boétie, 1564

Man faces 75 years in prison for filming police.

torsdag den 1. september 2011

Are we slaves to debt?

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Chomsky: Hegemonic powers show extreme contempt for democracy.

Obama Implements 'Precrime' 'Prolonged Detention'

Dagens Citat: Derrick Jensen.

“Who determines that money is more valuable than life? Who determines that those with money are more powerful? What is money in the end? It is paper. It is metal. It cannot be eaten. The paper can be burned for heat. But it is nothing. It is nothing except what we make of it. It is nothing except what we pretend it to be.”

- Derrick Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe, p. 381.

onsdag den 31. august 2011

EU arms exports to Libya: who armed Gaddafi?

The Guardian has done a bit of datamining at one of The European Union's sites and discovered some rather interesting facts revealing how much money various members of the European arms industry have earned by selling weapons to Gadaffi.

Below are some key revelations:

The EU granted export licenses for €834.5m worth of arms exports in the first five years after the arms embargo was lifted in October 2004

2009 is the highest amount ever: €343.7m

Italy is the top exporter, with €276.7m over the five years

The UK got off to a big start in 2005, with €58.9m of the €72.2m total.

UK licenses over the five years are worth €119.35m

Malta saw some €79.7m of guns go through the Island en route to Libya in 2009 - apparently sold via an Italian company.

The Guardian: "EU arms exports to Libya: who armed Gaddafi?"

MI5 told Blair Iraq was no threat to UK

"Baroness Manningham-Buller disclosed that she had warned the then Labour Prime Minister that the UK would be at greater risk of terrorist attacks if he pursued military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The former director general of the domestic security service, who retired in 2007, described the Iraq conflict as a “distraction” from efforts to tackle al Qaida and warned that more terrorist attacks on British soil seemed likely.

Her comments, in an interview to mark the start of her three Reith Lectures, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week, represent the most outspoken criticisms to date of the 2003 conflict by such a senior figure in the intelligence services.

Mr Blair, and his former communications director, Alastair Campbell, have faced repeated criticism over the Labour government’s public case for military action.

Downing Street infamously claimed that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) within 45 minutes of an order to do so, although no evidence of such a WMD programme was ever found."

The Telegraph: "MI5 told Blair Iraq was no threat to UK."

The Trap by Adam Curtis

tirsdag den 30. august 2011

Terrortruslen: Årtiets største svindelnummer.

Den amerikanske advokat og samfundsrevser Glenn Greenwald, forklarer i dagens blogindlæg hvorfor han mener, at den stærkt overdrevne terrortrussel er det største svindelnummer i det nye årtusinde, idet den bruges til at berige store multinationale selskaber i det militær-industrielle kompleks for befolkningens penge, altimens teltbyer opstår overalt i USA og nationen er håbløst forgældet.

"Exaggerating, manipulating and exploiting the Terrorist threat for profit and power has been the biggest scam of the decade; only Wall Street's ability to make the Government prop it up and profit from the crisis it created at the expense of everyone else can compete for that title. Nothing has altered the mindset of the American citizenry more than a decade's worth of fear-mongering So compelling is fear-based propaganda, so beholden are our government institutions to these private Security State factions, and so unaccountable is the power bestowed by these programs, that even a full decade after the only Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, its growth continues more or less unabated."

Læs resten på Greenwalds blog.

lørdag den 27. august 2011

Charles Eisenstein: The Ascent of Humanity (1 of 5)

Quote of the day: Charles Eisenstein.

“In a world in which nothing matters, the most atrocious events are no longer horrifying; the most piteous victims no longer stir our compassion; the most frightening possibilities, like nuclear war and ecological destruction, no longer frighten us. Sometimes we explain it away as “compassion fatigue”, but really it is a disconnection from reality. None of it seems real. We sit back, benumbed, watching the world slide slowly toward a precipice as if it were an on-screen enactment. Similarly, we watch the years of our own lives march on, indifferent to the preciousness of each passing moment. Only once in a while an alarm goes off; we panic for a moment with a thought like, “This is real! This is my life! What am I here for?” And then our environment tempts us back into stupor.”

Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity p. 321.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb - 'The Banks have hi-jacked the govt'

fredag den 26. august 2011

US Diplomats Are Pushing Monsanto's Dubious Products.

According to Truth-out: "Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont..."

Via Truth-out.org.

Derfor brænder jeg min stemmeseddel.

De fleste synes at være enige om, at demokrati er en god ting. Medbestemmelse og muligheden for at påvirke dagsordenen ved at gøre sin stemme gældende, er vel i de flestes bevidsthed at foretrække frem for ingen medbestemmelse. Det er derfor også ganske interessant, at virkelighedens Danmark kun afspejler denne konsensus i et ganske lille omfang. I langt de fleste af de institutioner, hvor vi tilbringer størstedelen af vores tilværelse, er muligheden for medbestemmelse og for at påvirke dagsordenen iøjnefaldende lav. Såvel på arbejdspladserne, som i gymnasierne og på universiteterne er mulighederne for at påvirke beslutningsprocesserne så begrænsede, at de nærmest ikke eksisterer overhovedet.

I det politiske rum er de flestes reelle mulighed for indflydelse begrænset til at sætte et kryds ud for det mindste onde en gang hvert fjerde år, og så håbe på, at de folk man lader repræsentere ens holdninger, gør et bare nogenlunde godt stykke arbejde. Selv indenfor flere af de etablerede politiske partier, som vel burde være de mest demokratiske organisationer i en repræsentativt demokratisk orden, er der en ganske betænkelig tendens til topstyring. Der kan vel endvidere næppe herske tvivl om, at der gennem de seneste ti år er blevet ført en så høj grad af blokpolitik, at næsten halvdelen af borgerne ikke har været reelt repræsenteret i lovgivningsprocessen og den førte politik, i langt størstedelen af det nye årtusinde.

En ganske anseelig del af den gældende lovgivning bliver desuden slet ikke vedtaget i Danmark, men derimod i EU-regi, hvor de praktiske muligheder den enkelte har for at påvirke lovgivningsprocessen og derfor reglerne som vi skal underkaste os, er forsvindende små. Ikke engang det folkevalgte Europaparlament kan foreslå nye love. Det er udelukkende EU-kommissionen som kan det. En kommission som ingen blandt de europæiske folk har valgt. At der hersker en stor grad af demokratisk underskud i den Europæiske Union vidner alle valgene om, idet det kun er en lidt over halvdelen af de stemmeberettigede europæere der går til stemmeboksene når der er valg. Den europæiske forfatningstraktat der blev nedstemt af flere EU-lande, er genopstået med få kosmetiske ændringer. For at undgå at befolkningerne nedstemte den blev den simpelthen vedtaget udenom folkelige afstemninger af de siddende magthavere. Dette var for eksempel tilfældet i Danmark. At disse magthavere næppe har læst traktaten endsige forstået den, kan der næppe herske tvivl, da den er fuldstændig ulæselig og uforståelig og ville kræve årevis at decifrere og forstå for selv eksperter.

De grundlovssikrede rettigheder som i teorien udgør kernen i vores påståede demokratiske orden, har endvidere, sammen med borgernes retssikkerhed, været under et så voldsomt pres gennem de seneste mange år, at man nok gør klogt i at betvivle hvorvidt vores såkaldte repræsentanter overhovedet besidder en tilstrækkelig grad af demokratisk sindelag. Med terrortruslen som belæg har maghaverne i de seneste år taget så mange foruroligende skridt i retning af politistaten, at de friheder generationerne før os kæmpede hårdt for at opnå, i dag er så meget på retræten, at man bør frygte de måske en dag helt vil forsvinde. Denne frygt graveres yderligere af, at befolkningen lader til at være så optagede af at blive underholdt af dansende aber og klovne med balloner, at kun et mindretal læser aviserne og endnu færre har et overblik over omfanget af truslerne mod vores frihed. Uden en opvakt og velinformeret befolkning, som forstår at forholde sig kritisk til magthaverne i det politiske rum, er betingelserne for en retfærdig, engageret og oplyst politisk orden, hvor der værnes om friheden og retfærdigheden, ikke på nogen måde opfyldt. Denne problemstilling bliver desuden endnu værre af, at befolkningens vagthund det meste af tiden ligger sovende i sit hundehus, idet kun et fåtal af medierne overhovedet har beskæftiget sig med disse problemstillinger i noget nær respektindgydende grad.

Al tale om egentligt folkestyre er derfor, med ovenstående in mente, vanskeligt overhovedet at tage alvorligt. Befolkningen er i praksis medbestemmende i så lille en grad, i vores samfunds forskellige rum og institutioner, at ordet 'folkestyre' nærmest må siges at være blevet meningsløst i lys af den herskende politiske og økonomiske orden. I stedet for at være kollektivt medbestemmende og ansvarligt selvforvaltende, har vi i stedet lagt administrationen af vores liv og fælles fremtid, i hænderne på de mestendels visionsløse karrierepolitikere, der lader til at bekymre sig mere om komme til magten, end om at være i handlingsmæssig overenstemmelse med deres partiers erklærede programmer.

At stemme på det mindste onde ved det kommende valg, er derfor ikke noget jeg har tænkt mig at spilde min tid på, da denne afmægtige handling er med til at opretholde illusionen om, at vi lever i et samfund baseret på medbestemmelse og folkeligt styre. Jeg har derfor tænkt mig at brænde min stemmeseddel offentligt på vaglaftenen.

Dagens Citat: David Hume.

"Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as FORCE is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular."

- David Hume: “Of the First Principles of Government.”

torsdag den 25. august 2011

Dagens citat: Herbert Marcuse.

"Når radiospeakeren rapporterer om tortur og mord på menneskerettighedsforkæmperne i samme ufølsomme tonefald, som han bruger ved rapporter om børskurser, varenoteringer og vejret, eller med samme "schwung" som han bruger ved reklameindslag, bliver objektiviteten falsk - ja mere end det, det bliver en krænkelse af menneskeligheden og sandheden ved at forholde sig rolig, hvor man burde blive oprørt, ved at afstå fra beskyldninger, hvor beskyldningerne ligger i selve kendsgerningerne. Den tolerance, som udtrykkes i en sådan neutralitet, tjener til at minimere eller rent ud frikende den eksisterende intolerance og undertrykkelse. Hvis objektivitet har noget at gøre med sandhed, og hvis sandhed er mere end et spørgsmål om logik og videnskab, så er denne slags objektivitet falsk og denne slags tolerance umenneskelig. Og hvis det er nødvendigt at sønderbryde det bestående meningsunivers (og den praksis som det indebærer) for at sætte mennesket i stand til at finde ud af, hvad der er sandt og falsk, så må man forlade denne bedrageriske objektivitet"

- Herbert Marcuse, Politiske Essays

onsdag den 24. august 2011

Once Again An Excellent Commentary by Glenn Greenwald.

Below is a quote from Glenn Greenwald's latest blogpost on his very readable Salon.com blog. I generally recommend him for the simple reason, that he is usually a very informed and well argued observer and commentator. Read his blog!

"I'm genuinely astounded at the pervasive willingness to view what has happened in Libya as some sort of grand triumph even though virtually none of the information needed to make that assessment is known yet, including: how many civilians have died,how much more bloodshed will there be, what will be needed to stabilize that country and,most of all, what type of regime will replace Gadaffi? Does anyone know how many civilians have died in the NATO bombing of Tripoli and the ensuing battle? Does anyone know who will dominate the subsequent regime? Does it matter?"

The Informants.

"The bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies, some paid as much as $100,000 per case, many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States."

The American bimonthly magazine Mother Jones, known for it's investigative reporting and in-depth articles, has just published a rather unsettling story titled "The Informants" about the FBI and the Bureau's widespread use of agent provocateurs and spies "tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States". In the article the question "The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots—or leading them?" is sought answered. It can be read in its entirety at the Mother Jones site.

mandag den 25. juli 2011

Exposed: Ethiopia gives farmland to foreigners while thousands starve

"A Survival investigation has uncovered alarming evidence that some of Ethiopia’s most productive farmland is being stolen from local tribes and leased to foreign companies to grow and export food – while thousands of its citizens starve during the devastating drought."

Om ideologi.

Enhver ideologi er et forsøg på en altomfattende verdensforklaring og netop deri ligger fælden, for når vi forsøger at forklare verdens enorme mangfoldighed indenfor rammeværket af en altomfattende ideologi, reducerer vi simultant vores perspektiv på tilværelsen og verden, til hvad vi kan få til at passe ind i det kognitive rammeværk som den ideologiske overbevisning udgør. Information der ikke passer ind i det ideologiske koordinatsystem ser vi bort fra, mens information der opretholder vores tro på, at den verdensforklaring vi nu engang er tilhængere af, er den eneste egentligt sande, til gengæld ganske let plottes ind i den ideologiske matrice vi opererer indenfor.

Vi er alle vidner til dette fænomen ofte. Når religiøse mennesker af monoteistisk observans eksempelvis tager skarp afstand fra evolutionsteorien er det et udtryk for dette, idet den darwinistiske evolutionsteori er uforenelig med de hellige bøgers skabelsesberetning og den deraf udledte teori om intelligent design, hvorfor evolutionsteorien altså snarere end at beskræfte rigtigheden af de monoteistiske religioners dogmatik, i stedet afkræfter dens krav på endegyldig sandhed. Et andet eksempel på hvordan information der ikke passer ind i verdensanskuelsen bortfiltreres, kan i denne tid ses hos dele af den yderste amerikanske højrefløj, hvor man gør et stort nummer ud af, at drage den klimatologiske konsensus omkring den globale opvarmning i tvivl, fordi det der vidt og bredt indenfor naturvidenskaben betragtes som kendsgerninger, ikke passer sammen med et ideologisk tankesæt, hvor uendelig forøgelse af rigdom og akkumulering af ressourcer betragtes som et ubetvivleligt gode.

At hævde, at ideologiske overbevisninger har været kilde til megen splid og splittelse op gennem menneskets civilisationshistorie og fortsat den dag i dag, er næppe at tage munden for fuld. Eksemplerne på dette er så talrige, at ingen i besiddelse af blot et minimum af dannelse kan være i tvivl om dette udsagns rigtighed, men selvom det burde være åbenlyst for enhver, at ideologierne skaber splittelse, had og vold, ja endda truer menneskehedens og andre livsformers kollektive eksistensgrundlag, forsyner vores samfund os kun i ringe grad med de nødvendige kognitive våben til at forsvare os mod at blive tilfangetagne i ideologiernes kvælende spindelvæv. Ideologisk overbevisning er ikke blot en stopklods for tænkningens frie udfoldelse, men også en grænsebom der sørger for, at vores empati og lydhørhed sjældent tilfalder folk hvis meninger og holdninger ikke befinder sig indenfor det rum af mening og betydninger som den ideologisk overbeviste befinder sig indenfor.

Skal vi gøre os forhåbninger om fredelig og positiv sameksistens med hinanden og den biosfære der er garanten for vores eksistens, bliver vi derfor nødt til at sætte en stopper for den vold, splittelse og splid som den ideologiske bevidsthed afstedkommer og i stedet skabe rammerne for, at et nyt, mere inklusivt og holistisk verdensbillede opstår og vinder udbredelse. Et nyt verdensbillede som har en ydmyghed indbygget i sig, i forståelsen af, at enhver afbildning af væren og vores tilværelse i verden, nødvendigvis må være begrænset og ufuldstændig. Et verdensbillede hvor der derfor er plads til mange perspektiver og erkendelsesveje, som alle komplementerer hinanden i en søgen mod positiv kollektiv evolution og den videst mulige genforening af mennesket og verden.

Breivik's manifesto in perspective.

The following is an attempt to put Anders Breivik's actions and ideological viewpoints into a larger perspective. The reason why I'm mostly using examples from Denmark is simply that they are the ones with which I am most familiar. Other examples abound!

In his manifesto we learn about Breivik's ideological views, which is a fusion of liberalist views in the realm of economics (he mentions the ultraliberalist Austrian School as an inspiration) with national conservatism, anti-marxism, anti-multiculturalism and anti-islamic views, and, last but not least, strong Christian views of a rather authoritarian variety. Above all he considers himself a freedom fighter and attempts to justify his actions by stating that they have been necessitated by the threats to the purity of Western culture generated by the influx of immigrants from non-western cultures in general and Islamic culture in particular.

Had he lived in the United States he would've made a good Republican in that the above-mentioned melting pot of ideological viewpoints to a great extent are the dominant ones within the current Republican Party. To a very large extent Breivik's views are also reminiscent of those of the Danish political party Fremskridtspartiet (The Party of Progress) whose sister party in Norway he was formerly associated with. Pia Kjærsgaard, the leader of the Danish national conservative party Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party), started her political career in Fremskridtspartiet and besides from Breiviks liberalist economic views, it seems that the party she leads shares most of the above-mentioned views with him. Dansk Folkeparti has been in constant growth for many years and parties similar to it are on the rise everywhere in Europe. In Denmark Dansk Folkeparti has been the supporting party of the government and the guarantor of its power for the last ten years. Within this rather short timespan this cooperation has resulted in some of the world's strongest anti-immigration laws, the rise and rise of the surveillance state and very concerning threats to our fundamental political freedoms.

It is not, however, only on the fringes of the Danish right-wing that we find these ideological melting pot tendencies. Soren Pind, who is one of the most prominent politicians on the right in Denmark at the moment, is a good example of this. Pind is a neoconservative when it comes to foreign policy, a national conservative in domestic affairs and a liberalist in the domain of economics, which of course makes him anti-marxist. He is currently the secretary of integration and he recently proposed that people from countries with many cultural similarities with what, in his mind, is Danish culture, should be allowed easier access to the country than people from cultures that are more dissimilar. He also recently stated that the goal of Danish integration policy shouldn't be merely to integrate immigrants into the culture but to assimilate them so that they become as much like the Danes as possible. This clearly indicates that he is a national conservative holding anti-islamic and anti-multiculturalist views, in that the dissimilar culture he is refering to is seemingly (what he considers to be) Islamic culture. Pind is probably the leading candidate to become the next leader of his party (Venstre), which together with De Konservative (The Conservatives), is currently in charge of government. The two governmental parties are lagging behind in all opinion polls though and the next election is at the most 3.5 months ahead. After his party's very probable loss he will likely become its leader, in that it is tradition for the leader to step down after losing an election and I can't really see any likelier candidate for the foremanship among the members of his party.

Breiviks ideological views are therefore not fringe right-wing views neither in Scandinavia nor the world at large and we should therefore be careful not to think of him as a lone madman, for even though we are definitely witnessing the work of a very narcissistic man seriously lacking in empathy for others, his actions can not be understood in isolation from his ideological views.

Take for example the war on Iraq, which claimed far more numerous lives than Breiviks actions. Is it not the case that this war stemmed from ideological views very similar to those of Breivik? Was it not presented to us - after the falsity of the evidence of Saddam's possesion of weapons of mass destruction had been made abundantly clear - as a crusade for freedom and democracy? Indeed it was and right-wing politicians from all over the West vehemently supported the war on ideological grounds similar to those of Breivik. Soren Pind has even ventured as far as saying that the war on Iraq caused the Arab Spring which is just another way of saying that the inferior Arabs didn't understand the true value of freedom and democracy until it was imposed upon their collective consciousness by the benevolent bombings of the superior West!

Rather than seeing Breivik as an isolated case we should view him as a product of far greater forces that are everywhere in the West trying to dismantle welfare, establish far reaching surveillance states and sow the seeds of hatred, separation and therefore violence.

We are no longer afraid of fascism thinking that we are too smart to ever let something like that happen again but unfortunately this has made us unable to see the forest for the trees. Sure, contemporary fascism is not an exact replica of any of the fascisms that ravaged Europe and South America during the twentieth century but it has enough similarities to justify the use of the term 'fascism'. Look at modern day Russia or the developments that have taken place in the United States and Europe, particularly since the turn of the millenium and it should be abundantly clear that we are heading in a very dangerous direction, especially when it is taken into account, that times of turmoil and economic recession are the breeding grounds of fascism.

When history repeats itself the charateristic phenomena of earlier times do not necessarily return exactly as they were in the past. Look therefore not for talk of the necessity of a strong leader. Contemporary fascists market themselves as good, sound democrats in favour of political freedoms, but do not be mislead! Look not for racebased ideology and anti-jewish rhetoric. Contemporary fascists are backers of the Israeli right-wing and its Zionist doctrines. The anti-jewish rhetoric and talk of the inferior race has vanished and instead been replaced with anti-islamic rhetoric and talk of the inferior Islamic culture! Look not for the roman salute or the swastika for they are not the primary characteristics of contemporary fascism. Fascism is now returning wrapped in the national flag and wearing the cross!

torsdag den 7. juli 2011

The Empathic Civilisation

Quotes of the day: Stéphane Hessel.

The quotes below are all taken from the now famous pamphlet by the French World War II resistance fighter Stéphane Hessel, entitled "Time for Outrage!" ("Indignez Vous!"):

"The worst possible outlook is indifference that says, “I can’t do anything about it; I’ll just get by.” Behaving like that deprives you of one of the essentials of being human: the capacity and the freedom to feel outraged. That freedom is indispensable, as is the political involvement that goes with it."

"We must realize that violence turns its back on hope. We have to choose hope over violence—choose the hope of nonviolence. That is the path we must learn to follow. The oppressors no less than the oppressed have to negotiate to remove the oppression: that is what will eliminate terrorist violence. That is why we cannot let too much hate accumulate."

"The Western obsession with productivity has brought the world to a crisis that we can escape only with a radical break from the headlong rush for “more, always more” in the financial realm as well as in science and technology. It is high time that concerns for ethics, justice and sustainability prevail. For we are threatened by the most serious dangers, which have the power to bring the human experiment to an end by making the planet uninhabitable."

Freedom and Terrorism

onsdag den 6. juli 2011

Quote of the day: Rudolf Rocker.

“Every new social structure makes organs for itself in the body of the old organism. Without this preliminary any social evolution is unthinkable. Even revolutions can only develop and mature the germs which already exist and have made their way into the consciousness of men; they cannot themselves create these germs or create new worlds out of nothing. It therefore concerns us to plant these germs while there is still yet time and bring them to the strongest possible development, so as to make the task of the coming social revolution easier and to ensure its permanence.”

Dokumentar: Dødelig Profit.

fredag den 24. juni 2011

Surveillance and data mining: Romas/COIN.

"For at least two years, the U.S. has been conducting a secretive and immensely sophisticated campaign of mass surveillance and data mining against the Arab world, allowing the intelligence community to monitor the habits, conversations, and activity of millions of individuals at once. And with an upgrade scheduled for later this year, the top contender to win the federal contract and thus take over the program is a team of about a dozen companies which were brought together in large part by Aaron Barr - the same disgraced CEO who resigned from his own firm earlier this year after he was discovered to have planned a full-scale information war against political activists at the behest of corporate clients. The new revelation provides for a disturbing picture, particularly when viewed in a wider context. Unprecedented surveillance capabilities are being produced by an industry that works in secret on applications that are nonetheless funded by the American public – and which in some cases are used against that very same public. Their products are developed on demand for an intelligence community that is not subject to Congressional oversight and which has been repeatedly shown to have misused its existing powers in ways that violate U.S. law as well as American ideals. And with expanded intelligence capabilities by which to monitor Arab populations in ways that would have previously been impossible, those same intelligence agencies now have improved means by which to provide information on dissidents to those regional dictators viewed by the U.S. as strategic allies."

Source: Daily Kos.

Chris Hedges' Endgame Strategy

David Suzuki - Tree: A Life Story

UN Special Rapporteur: “Blockade of Gaza denies Palestinians humanity and dignity.”

UN Special rapporteur in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, yesterday denounced Israeli policies and practices in Gaza, describing them as “a deliberate policy of collective punishment which is legally indefensible and morally reprehensible. It is aimed at denying Palestinians humanity and a life with dignity. The blockade of Gaza must be lifted entirely and immediately.”

Falk continued by stating that “It is appalling that 300,000 Gazans seek to survive on less than $1 per day, deprived of their basic human rights and a life in dignity. UNRWA report aptly concludes that the Israeli blockade ‘deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution.’ To this end, the deliberate policy of humiliation and degradation is only aimed at punishing the entire civilian population trapped in the Gaza Strip.”

Quotes of the day: Niall Ferguson.

“Last year (2007) the income of the average American (just under $34,000) went up by at most 5 per cent. But the cost of living rose by 4.1 per cent. So in real terms Mr Average actually became just 0.9 per cent better off. Allowing for inflation, the income of the median household in the United States has in fact scarcely changed since 1990, increasing by just 7 per cent in eighteen years. Now compare Mr Average's situation with that of Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank. In 2007 he received $68.5 million in salary, bonus and stock awards, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year, and roughly two thousand times more than Joe Public earned. That same year, Goldman Sachs's net revenues of $46 billion exceeded the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of more than a hundred countries, including Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia; Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala; Angola, Syria and Tunisia. The bank's total assets for the first time passed the $ i trillion mark. Yet Lloyd Blankfein is far from being the financial world's highest earner. The veteran hedge fund manager George Soros made $2.9 billion. Ken Griffin of Citadel, like the founders of two other leading hedge funds, took home more than $2 billion. Meanwhile nearly a billion people around the world struggle to get by on just $1 a day.”

“At times, the ascent of money has seemed inexorable. In 2006 the measured economic output of the entire world was around $47 trillion. The total market capitalization of the world's stock markets was $ 51 trillion, 10 per cent larger. The total value of domestic and international bonds was $68 trillion, 50 per cent larger. The amount of derivatives outstanding was $473 trillion, more than ten times larger. Planet Finance is beginning to dwarf Planet Earth. And Planet Finance seems to spin faster too. Every day two trillion dollars change hands on foreign exchange markets. Every month seven trillion dollars change hands on global stock markets. Every minute of every hour of every day of every week, someone, somewhere, is trading. And all the time new financial life forms are evolving.In 2006, for example, the volume of leveraged buyouts (takeovers of firms financed by borrowing) surged to $753 billion. An explosion of 'securitization', whereby individual debts like mortgages are 'tranched' then bundled together and repackaged for sale, pushed the total annual issuance of mortgage backed securities, asset-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations above $3 trillion. The volume of derivatives - contracts derived from securities, such as interest rate swaps or credit default swaps (CDS) – has grown even faster, so that by the end of 2007 the notional value of all 'over-the-counter' derivatives (excluding those traded onpublic exchanges) was just under $600 trillion. Before the 1980s, such things were virtually unknown. New institutions, too, have proliferated. The first hedge fund was set up in the 1940s and, as recently as 1990, there were just 610 of them, with $38 billion under management. There are now over seven thousand, with $1.9 trillion under management. Private equity partnerships have also multiplied, as well as a veritable shadow banking system of 'conduits' and 'structured investment vehicles' (SIVs), designed to keep risky assets off bank balance sheets. If the last four millennia witnessed the ascent of man the thinker, we now seem to be living through the ascent of man the banker.”

Niall Ferguson: The Ascent of Money.

torsdag den 23. juni 2011

Quotes of the day: Robert Albritton

Capitalism and Democracy:

“Capitalism is only supportive of democracy to a limited extent, for democracy requires a high level of equality, while capitalism generates inequality. To an extent capitalism has supported individual rights, which can be important dimensions of democracy; however, if inequality leaves large numbers in dire need, these rights can be weakened to the point of being almost meaningless. Thus free speech is terribly important, but it can be undermined when inequality creates a situation where de facto it is almost entirely the voices of small elites that are heard. For this reason, the emphasis on individual rights needs to be balanced by an emphasis on social rights and responsibilities that arise from a sense of social connectedness and generosity.”


“The large corporations that we see today are among some of the largest and most centrally planned economic units to ever exist, and as a consequence of their status as private property and legal persons, the public has only very limited and indirect ways of holding corporations publicly accountable. By law, corporations are supposed to maximize profits for stockholders, but this is a very narrow mission for such a powerful institution as the modern corporation. Further, not only is most corporate decision making behind closed doors, but it is relatively authoritarian in the sense that it is mostly top-down, being finalized by small circles of top management. Is it rational for small coteries of private individuals to have so much power over the fate of humanity? I think

Socializing Costs, Privatizing Profits:

“We must find ways to make corporations more democratically accountable, and to include in their calculations not only short-term profits but also social costs and benefits. For example, in capitalism as it exists, a corporation may contribute to respiratory illness by polluting the air, but it would be irrational for it to install expensive anti-pollution devices if by doing so, its profits would be reduced. Normally under capitalism, it is the taxpayers and consumers who will pay the tab for increased health care costs stemming from air pollution. This is an example of how capitalism privatizes profits and socializes costs. The capitalist imperative to privatize profits and socialize costs becomes particularly problematic when economic activity is generating enormous social costs by running up against the limits of human and environmental health and when it is continually deepening a horrendous inequality.”


“Most mainstream economists believe that by their own impulses markets can rationally price commodities, but when enormous social and environmental costs are not included in market prices, they can scarcely be thought of as rational. It follows that market prices need to be made more representative of real social costs and benefits. The “carbon tax” is one example where this is being advocated. A “sustainability tax” has also been advocated. Such taxes, however, can only be progressive from the point of view of human flourishing, if they are combined with redistributive
measures that make the necessities of life more affordable and not less to those with lower incomes. We can make markets more democratically accountable by treating them instrumentally, and this means being willing to intervene, whenever by doing so human or environmental flourishing are advanced.

Because markets are always embedded in and shaped by power relations, their outcomes are always likely to favour the powerful. Today the mainstream speaks of “market failures”, as though for the most part markets succeed. But what is the measure of their success? It surely cannot be distributive justice unless radical inequality can be made consistent with justice. Nor can it be environmental sustainability or human health.”

Robert Albritton in "Let Them Eat Junk: How Capitalism Creates Hunger and Obesity".

tirsdag den 21. juni 2011

Lykketoft melder sig under fanerne i opgøret med vækstdogmet.

Fra et interview med Lykketoft i gårsdagens udgave af Information:

»Et eksempel: Hvis den kinesiske vækst fortsætter nogenlunde usvækket, vil kineserne sidst i århundredet nå op på samme niveau pr. capita som amerikanerne. Vil de også bruge deres penge som amerikanerne, skal der bl.a. skaffes plads til 900 mio. biler. Det indebærer foruden helt uoverskuelige problemer for miljø, klima og ressourcer at dagens samlede risdyrkningsareal i Kina må inddrages til veje og parkeringspladser.«

»Det er ét blandt hundrede eksempler på, hvorfor det ikke kan lade sig gøre at give alle mennesker på Jorden en levestandard som den, vi efterspørger i dag. Ressourcerne til det findes simpelthen ikke. Det kan man godt prøve at fortrænge yderligere fem eller 10 år, men det bliver problemet ikke lettere at løse af.«