Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sunday Papers #8: August 22nd

* Right wing and anti-muslim populist Geert Vilders  is planning to take part in protests at Ground Zero, NYC, over plans to build a mosque nearby. Geert Vilders Freedom party won 31% of the vote in the recent elections and is likely to herald harsh changes in migration policy. These plans have become a magnet for anti-muslim sentiment in the USA, with apparently one in five Americans believing President Obama is a Muslim himself!

* Not content with attempting to clear Calais of those without papers, the French government is now trying to deport all members of the Roma community without papers. The swing to the right in European politics in particular is becoming clearer and clearer.

*  Hamas slams the UN for attempting to teach about the Holocaust. A Hamas spokesperson discussing his opposotion,  “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists”. Wow, and this is the (hideously authoritarian, sexist and islamist) movement which garners so much support, or lack of criticism, from parts of the anti-Imperial left. Shameful.

* Just found out that the Endnotes collective have published another issue of their infrequent journal, no.2 looks set to be a tasty read with articles on value form marxism and its relatiosnhip to communisation. Here is an article they wrote during the start of the crisis to whet your appetite.

* Critical article from the Platypus Affiliated Society. This is part of a series discussing “the decline of the Left”. Haven’t read the others but enjoyed this one, even if trying to link the Iranian revolution, Collapse of the USSR and the rise of alter-global “activist-ism” might be trickier than the author admits. However he is right in criticising all these things and in suggesting a new, relevant exit strategy from Capitalism can only be begun to be discussed after we have dissected what has come before.

* And finally, another Michael Heinrich piece. Pretty heavy going but explores Marx’s understanding of money. Ends with a critique of a foreshortened analysis of capital which fetishes financial capital as  the unnatural or predatory aspect of capital. This was apparent at the start of the crisis with lots of discussion of how it was a crisis of fictitious capital which would not affect the material, tangible economy which was seen to operate in semi-isolation..

Where is the switchboard of Capitalism?

Have been reading the recently produced climate camp reader/paper. Whilst it’s nice to see the Camp foregrounding systemic criticisms beyond growth alone, and solutions beyond lifestyle change, it’s important we don’t drift towards simply bashing the bankers. Similar arguments to those seen at the G20 appear to be peering through the pages with finance being seen as the privileged lever of capitalism and therefore the key target. However, targeting finance specifically is likely to lead us down the dead end of Tobin taxes or national banks. Capitalism isn’t a conspiracy or a moral system in which the greed of a few bankers/politicians leads to the suffering of all. We must seek to analyse the systemic processes, acting behind the scenes as it were.

Found and old interview with Michael Heinrich today. He’s being interviewed by someone from the “Ums Ganze” network (translates roughly as “all or nothing”, or “all of it” I’ve been told), who were involved in the G8 protests in Heilegendam. notable for marching behind a banner with an image of Britney Spears breakdown on it ( suggesting that Capital effects all of us). Although it’s a bit old the discussion about the G8 as a switchboard for Capital is probably relevant also for the financial system. There is a whole gamut of things out their critiquing those analyses which focus on finance, yet it continually resurges (see the J18 carnival against capitalism as a previous example).

R

P.S. apologies for lack of posts, moving house and trying to write an article for Shift magazine have taken their toll on any sort of productivity.

P.P.S Good Luck to everyone going to the Camp up in Scotland this weekend. Be safe.