Category Archives: Uncategorized

Excellent downfall/anti-cuts parody

The German film Downfall which dealt with the last days of Hitler in Berlin has proven the unlikely subject of a internet parody phenomenon. Topics such as Englands progress in the World Cup, the Apple Ipad and the Oscars have all been topics of parody with different subtitles being added to the gripping scene in which the march of the Soviet forces becomes unstoppable.

My friend has just done an excellent parody of Cameron’s reaction to the Millbank protests. Absolute comedy gold.

watch it here. Seems that the link function isn’t working. here’s the URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdsfxbuOjTQ&feature=player_embedded

R

If your in Manchester next Wednesday…

Meeting about how to organise against the cuts here in Manchester next Wednesday. For those of you that use facebook, event is here. Check back for updates on agenda and such. The students have shown that resistance is still possible, Even if we all do love glass windows a little too much. Although the New Statesman wins the award for most sensible article in response.  Spread resistance, open the cracks.

You make cuts, we make trouble. Spread the word

R

Shift Magazine call out for Articles – issue 11

Sorry for lack of posts recently, we’ve just moved into our new housing co-op and still have no internet.

Here is a re-post of Shift’s latest call out for articles. Looks like it might be quite an interesting issue.

What is the relationship between religion and anti-capitalist movements?

It is clear that Islam occupies a contested and complex space within western political frameworks. Whilst some on the Left seek to romanticise and glorify Islamist movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah , we are also witnessing the increasing prevalence of anti-islamic positions within Europe and North America. The recent banning of the Hijab in France, the rise of the English Defence League and the national furor in the United States of America over plans to build an islamic community centre in the same area of New York as Ground Zero are clear examples of this.

Can religion provide the answer? How do we understand the seemingly progressive ideals underpinning many religions? From the peasant rebellions to modern day liberation theology, the Dalai Lama to the Iranian revolution, history is littered with moments of rebellion influenced by religious thought. Are these movements allies or something quite different? How do we react to modern forms of racism and exclusionism whilst maintaining a critique of religious movements?

Shift magazine are looking for contributions for issue 11 on the topic of anti-capitalism and Islam. In particular we would be interested in articles exploring the politics of solidarity with regards to the Left and Islam or mapping shifts within contemporary Far Right politics, with the focus on Islam being of particular interest. As well as articles discussing Islam we would be interested in articles discussing other religions such as Buddhism, religious solidarity, liberation theology or other similair topics. We will also consider articles not directly related to religion but that are directly relevant for anti-capitalist politics here in the UK. Please send proposals to shiftmagazine@hotmail.com by the end of November.

R

Animated David Harvey Lecture

Just spotted this animated version of a recent David Harvey lecture up on his website. Really nice way of visually representing the lecture. Besides looking nice Harvey is dealing with an important topic, namely an analysis of (false) readings of  the crisis and his argument for its underlying structural reasons. After dismissing species, cultural, institutional and the state of current neo-liberal theory as valid reasons he puts forward his own argument about its basis within the structural processes of capital. I’ve been a fan of Harvey for a while now and in my opinion his analysis of the geographical nature of capital is vital in understanding what is happening today. One strength of this lecture is his shying away from discussing solutions. This is helpful given his tendency to hark back towards some form of enlightened social contract between labour and capital as a solution to the present. (see his “A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism”)

The crisis reveals its true face, we are drowning in excess capital, in our own alienated labour.

Harvey see’s the crisis as an internal one related to the very dynamic of capital itself. The search for constant compound growth (I.E. growth on previous growth) results in various methods for ensuring this. Since the seventies there has been a systemic attack on labours claims to a portion of social wealth (particularly in the global North which has previously seen a higher portion of the proceeds of production ensured via trade unions),  this has consequently led to the rise of indebtedness for which we are paying the price now. As wages are squeezed yet value creation has continued to rise a crisis of underconsumption has been avoided via a debt financed consumer economy, with this looking increasingly toxic now the crisis has been shifted towards a sovereign debt crisis as states around the world tighten their belts at out expense. As Harvey, quoting Engels, is correct to say Capital cannot solve its internal contradictions, merely temporarily “fix” or alleviate it spatially and/or temporally (an argument he developed in the 1980’s). As more capital sloshes around our financial networks, is temporally displaced via urban development projects or spatiall reorganised via the huge amounts of capital flowing into developing states such as China the greater will be the pressure to find profitable ways for this capital to be reinvested. Paraodoxically the more wealth human society posseses the greater the need to eke out even more social wealth, when this hits barriers (be they environmental or social) the disciplining of human populations is often deemed necessary. Ours is a crisis not of poverty but of abundance, the first step to relieving it is in recognising this.

R

On the Crisis of Capital…

The great scandal of global capital is that it is choking itself up on the pyramids of accumulated abstract wealth. Yet, when looking at social conditions, when listening to the ever more urgent demand for greater labour flexibility, it seems as if the global crisis is really just a consequence of a scarcity of capital.

Werner Bonefeld, Against War and the Preconditions of War.

Written before the invasion of Iraq. Still true now.

R

Sunday Papers #6

* With the elections drawing in I’m sure lots of you are feeling a bit tired of the media hype in what is, lets face it, an even less inspiring election than usual. With the global economy, in particular its finance markets, visibly in distress and people clamouring for solutions its remarkable how underwhelming the major parties responses has been. Austerity or economic collapse sounds less like a choice and more like a threat. Last Hours put forth their argument that politics happens in more places than just the Houses of Parliament.

* Interesting article from Mute about Casa Pound, an Italian populist right wing movement sharing many characteristics with it’s autonomous left movement counter-parts. Also has an illuminating, if brief, genealogy of the Italian far right post-Mussolini. Although not delving into Casa Pound’s analysis too much, the article highlights the similarity between certain far right positions and some of those who would call themselves anti-capitalist.

* Yet another online academic library, this time housed at Bedeutung magazine, a infrequently published magazine discussing art, philosophy and culture. Lots of Zizek, Adorno and Agamben articles.

* John Holloway responds to criticisms of his book ‘Changing the World Without Taking Power’. A strong, passionate yet humble article discussing how to begin rethinking about the concept of revolution today. His analysis rest on the fragility, rather than endurance, of Capital. He interprets Marxs’ Capital, along with Kurz, as a negative theory of crisis rather than a positive theory of social change. Well worth reading.

* The continued rise of discrimination against Muslims continues in Europe. The Belgian parliament votes for a banning of the Burka. Indicatively this isn’t even attempted to be justified by appeals to gender equality, but rather to security.

Happy mayday for yesterday!

R

If You’re in Manchester on Mayday – Anti-Election bloc

Looks like a good demo and after event. Manchester No Borders have organised demonstrations at previous Mayday events and they’ve all been quite good. To read the original call out head over here. 
Sick of the elections? Sick of tedious work, or being told to get a job? Don’t know who to vote for and think it probably wouldn’t make any difference anyway? Us too!

Join us on Mayday to celebrate International Workers Day, the historical and daily struggle of workers – paid, unpaid and ‘unemployed’ – against the daily grind that is work and ‘life’ under capitalism.

Manchester No Borders calls for a ‘You Cannot Represent Our Diversity’ anti-election bloc on the TUC May day march (Sat 1st May, 12pm, All Saints Park- look out for the banner) and a celebratory BBQ and Alternative Speakers Corner on Saturday 1st May in Birley Fields, 3pm, between Bonsall St and Streford Rd, Hulme. Hulme has a long tradition of dissent and resisting mainstream ideas of how the ‘local community’ should be doing things. Let’s keep it going and celebrate one of the best bits of public green space in South Manchester at the same time .

The three main political parties, as well as the whacky ones like UKIP and the BNP, assume that being ‘tough on immigration’ is the way to win votes.

If you’re sick of such simplistic scapegoating ideas, which divide people against one another locally and globally, and never look at the causes of inequality, join us on May Day!

Come together to celebrate diversity and community! No Borders, No Nations!

BBQ ** Local Musicians ** Fun & Games ** Non Party-Political Discussions **

Spoken Word Performance **Info Stalls ** Urban Gardening ** Kids’ Area **

Flying? to Bolivia!

The Indymedia UK scene has been shocked today by the announcement in the Daily Mail that members of the UK Camp for Climate Action will be attending Evo Morales conference on climate change in Bolivia by plane! This has produced a rather serious period of soul searching within the climate change movement beginning with a rational, productive discussion on Indymedia UK.

Things get more and more farcical in the Green movement

Can’t help but feel that a certain amount of perspective is missing. Whilst there are aspects of the conference to be concerned about the mode of transport to get their probably doesn’t need to be so high up the agenda.

R


Sunday Papers #4 28th February

Sorry about the lack of posting recently. Life has a habit of getting in the way of things such as blogging…

Tamsin Osmond, plane stupid and general climate activist, decides to run for parliament in Hampstead and Kilburn against “London’s Laziest MP” Glenda Jackson. Expect to see activists dressed as Suffragettes offering to insulate houses and a total lack of political credibility.

Out of Control, a European wide project to analyse and develop ways of resisting the securitisation of Europe announces another meeting will be happening this year . Looks like an interesting and important project. Watch their blog for more news

Finally, interesting interview with Wu Ming (formerly Luther Blisset) the collective writing project which has co-authored Q, 54 and Manituana. Interesting discussion on the creation of myths, the notion of authorship and American exceptionalism.

R

We’re All Environmentalists Now!

Even Bin Laden is jumping on the climate change wagon. As well as criticising the bail-out of the banks, U.S. imperialism and praising Chomsky’s analysis of geo-politics, Bin Laden lays the blame for climate change squarely on the doorstep of western governments.

Will we see Bin Laden sharing the stage with Galloway and co. at a Stop the War meeting near you?

R