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24 October 2009

Don't worry about the economy, we don't need it

"The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal."
-- Elia Kazan

Don't worry about the economy, we don't need it. A statement that is at once bold, brave and easily dismissed as foolish, but it's a sentence that encapsulates as succinctly as possible something that desperately needs saying.
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes her laws."

-- Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 -1812)
Godfather of the Rothschild Banking Cartel
in 'The Creature from Jekyll Island', p. 218
Most of us, most of the time, have no need or want whatsoever for the financial economy that exists today; that is - a systemic legacy of historical ownership, control and operation. In fact, if anything, the financial economy is a shackle and a hindrance to more people, more of the time, than it is of any tangible benefit. Which is just as it has been intended by that class of people who champion their private property, profit and capital over the interests of the very people that wittingly or unwittingly facilitate their privilege. But still, don't worry about the economy, we don't need it.

What we do need however is a coherent way of understanding the essential nature of the permanent crisis of Capitalism and its economy, complete with an understanding of how the murderous U-SUK alliance Imperialism we see in the Middle-East and elsewhere is Capitalism in its most barbarous form. We need a correct understanding to ensure that this is the last ever crisis of Capitalism that anyone has to endure and, equally as crucially, to collectively plan, organise and establish new ways for how 6 billion-and-counting human beings go about co-existing with each other on the blue-green planet that hosts us.

An accurate and insightful understanding of what the system of Capitalism under which we live is, how it operates, and what the function of the State is inside the system of Capitalist operation, would include an understanding of how the State has established and maintained for itself a monopoly on the 'legitimate' use of violence against everything, which it deploys via bodies of armed men in defence of the minority interests of private property, capital, capitalists and capitalism. Private property is theft from and an affront to the rest of humanity and the capital is a historical, fictional legacy controlled by a handful people who manage the fiction to best suit the needs of themselves and their class; it is these things that the State, for all its pretence otherwise, exists to protect. Which, in the 21st century information age, is a somewhat backward and regressive basis for anything and this is the crux of the issue: the State's role as actor and enforcer in defence of private property and private capital, while keeping empty a million houses from those with no homes or health, and families unable to feed, clothe and educate their children, because 4 million people live under institutionalised and enforced poverty.
"The state, then, has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies that did without it, that had no idea of the state and state power. At a certain stage of economic development, which was necessarily bound up with the split of society into classes, the state became a necessity owing to this split. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes not only will have ceased to be a necessity, but will become a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they arose at an earlier stage. Along with them the state will inevitably fall. Society, which will reorganise production on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers, will put the whole machinery of state where it will then belong: into the museum of antiquities, by the side of the spinning wheel and the bronze axe."

-- Friedrich Engels
from "The Origin of Family, Private Property and State" (1884)
Thankfully, outside the bounds of the public school theatrics of parliamentary politics and debate and mostly also outside of the bounds of mainstream media debate (with one or two notable exceptions like the discussion on Newsnight by middle-class pundits of impending "class warfare") people are beginning to explore what lies at the core of the system that enforces certain material conditions of existence. Better yet, they are beginning to explore solutions.

Todd Chretien on Lenin's "State and Revolution"

The State and Revolution, by Vladimir Il'ich Lenin

Since the snappily titled credit-crunch and the despotic actions of States around the world to sustain at any cost to workers the banking infrastructure and the workings of the financial markets of Capitalism the statement, "Don't worry about the economy, we don't need it" rings more true now than at any time before in history. And, while it is possible that some might label the statement "Don't worry about the economy, we don't need it" as the wild imaginings and inventions of an idiot, a 'conspiracy theorist', an Anarchist or a Marxist, or any other ad hominem 'insult' du jour -- as undoubtedly some will loudly decry it, and good luck to them all for their time is nearly up - the closing words of this article are given to a man of mental faculty, standing and repute beyond reproach:
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

09 October 2009

Bombing the moon for (Nobel) Peace (Prizes)

Not content with bombing to death human beings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and anywhere else on earth with resources that take their fancy, the United Mistakes of America (ignore for a moment how mythical al Qaeda suicide bombers follow them around everywhere) via those lovely folk at NAZA have taken to bombing the Clangers and the moon, complete with 1960s video technology holed up in a PortaCabin as documentary proof; all in a vain bid to save, among other things, a collapsed economy of invented numbers while apparently looking for water, as discovered by everyone except those who claim to have been there many times, and recently confirmed by India's lunar mission.

All of which means it's probably time for a revival of this little bit of musical, lyrical and video genius from German rockers, Rammstein.

There is no escape. Even on the moon.

Meanwhile, PotUS Barack Obama/Ohbomber, he who authorised the mass murder of Pakistanis (ignore that the U.S. hasn't, technically, declared war on Pakistan) through the use of unmanned drones, receives a Nobel Peace Prize because he said all the right words, which of course means that, according to the collection of Nobel geniuses who decide such things, you can ignore his 'peaceful' actions like, er, murder.

#War IS #Peace; how warmongers win #Nobel 'peace' prizes. Everything is its opposite.

Ignore incongruity; dismiss dissonance; carry on.

03 October 2009

Happy 6th Birthday to Reason....

Anything that defies my sense of reason is, quite incredibly, six years old today.

While postings on the blog have been light of late, for many of the same reasons as outlined in The Sounds of Silence and the Persistence of Time (itself published some two years ago) your humble host has been playing in one or two other places:

Follow on Tumblr: http://antagonise.tumblr.com/

If you're new to Reason...., or if you just want a recap of roughly how it all came to be and what has happened along the way, you might want to read a recent interview with yours truly, courtesy of the Pakistan Spectator.

Blogs and the Internet have evolved rather substantially since this blog was born. The following question and response is taken from the Pakistan Spectator interview:
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
The way in which ordinary people now have the ability to communicate internationally, at the speed of light, with anyone and everyone, almost anywhere in the world is perhaps the most exciting and progressive use of technology. I think this has yet to be harnessed to its fullest and true potential, partly due to language barriers, but, like everything, it’s all process and everyone must learn to walk before they can run.
As this blog turns six, it looks like Google might well have gone some way to addressing the not inconsiderable matter of facilitating the harnessing of the Internet "to its fullest and true potential" by eradicating some of the language barriers with the built-in, real-time, language translation services being rolled out as part of GoogleWave.

If anyone at Google is reading and wants to help celebrate six years of Google/Blogger blogging, do feel free to send through a GoogleWave invite.

Meanwhile, here's to the next six years....

Seeing as Twitter gets a mention.... If you're a user of the Twitter service and struggling with the web interface, the Adobe Air Twitter client, DestroyTwitter comes very highly recommended. And, if you decide to use DestroyTwitter, there is the added bonus of not one but two Antagonista/Reason inspired DestroyTwitter themes:

22 August 2009

John Pilger - Obama and Empire

Or why Obama cannot legitimately be described as any sort of 'socialist'.
Author, journalist, film maker John Pilger speaks at Socialism 2009 www.socialistworker.org; www.haymarketbooks.org. Filmed by Paul Hubbard at the Womens Building in San Francisco 7-4-09.

22 July 2009

Jean Charles de Menezes - gone, but never forgotten

There follows a copy of a missive issued by Justice4Jean, the Jean Charles de Menezes' family campaign for justice after the extra judicial execution of an innocent man at Stockwell underground station. The police have murdered others since and, as with the killing of Jean, have done so with impunity.
* Please circulate widely *

Dear all,

The Justice4Jean Campaign has launched an online petition today, on the 4th anniversary of Jean's death, calling on Transport for London and London Mayor Boris Johnson to allow the Mosaic of Jean Charles de Menezes to be erected outside Stockwell Tube station as a permanent memorial.

The petition reads as follows:
"We the undersigned call on Transport for London and the Mayor of London to allow the Mosaic of Jean Charles de Menezes to be erected outside Stockwell Tube station as a permanent memorial.

Jean Charles De Menezes was an innocent man who died in tragic circumstances after being shot dead by police in 2005. His story has touched people worldwide. The family and local community have maintained a temporary shrine for 4 years, outside Stockwell station, to express the huge amount of public sympathy about the manner and circumstances in which he died. We believe the mosaic, made by the family of Jean Charles with local artists, represents the best and most fitting replacement to this shrine - it celebrates his short life whilst ensuring his tragic death is never forgotten."

Please join us in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference.


Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

Thank you!
Justice4Jean Campaign

12 June 2009

Britain's got fascists

The results of the UK tranche of the European Elections are in and everyone is left wondering how so many votes got doled out to a party of people who never go anywhere without adorning themselves in the tawdry bunting of the British flag.

Brainwashing: It's only subliminal if you don't notice

11 June 2009

Crisis and Resistance in the Neoliberal City

A short talk by Professor David Harvey, given in Baltimore on 18th April 2009.

Harvey's opening words include the following quote to indicate the significance of where everything is at, how it relates to where we go next, and the potential implications for the future of any actions that are taken now:
"How we come out of this crisis is almost certainly going to define the nature of the next crisis down the road, unless we decide to say, 'To hell with capitalist crises, to hell with capitalism.' This seems to me to be something we should really be thinking about."

From then on in Harvey endeavours to provide information about recent history that seems to have been collectively forgotten, or deliberately ignored, in case anyone might learn anything from the timeless lessons of that which has gone before us.

Crisis and Resistance in the Neoliberal City

Video from the City from Below Conference of Professor Harvey’s remarks at the opening plenary. Baltimore, April 18, 2009. Read the transcript. Watch the rest of the plenary.

09 June 2009

Journey well, Lord Patel

It is a heavy heart that writes to advise that Lord Patel of the Internets [sic], otherwise known as Edward Teague, passed away earlier today.

The news of Lord Patel's passing, a man who was without doubt one of the most prolific and insightful UK bloggers bar none, is too sad for words, particularly since Postman Patel's blog was one of the few British blogs from which some true insight could be gleaned about the stories in, and behind, the news.

Postie's place in the annals of British blogging history rightfully deserves marking, not least because he always managed to put all the young whippersnappers to shame with his wit, insight, courage and forthrightness. Lord Patel of the Internets was a very special man indeed and he and his prolific blogging output will be sorely missed in among the otherwise bland, challenge-nothing, British blog-bromide brigade. Anyone with pretensions to blogging in earnest would do well to learn from the examples set by Postman Patel.

Lord Patel had the dubious privilege of being the first person to email your humble correspondent directly on the basis of some of the scribblings here on Reason, back in November 2005. In those days Lord Patel was one of the few UK-based bloggers challenging and questioning the unfolding story of the events of 7th July 2005, something that he continued to do over the years. Lord Patel became an ardent and welcome supporter of the efforts of J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign, and his support was such that, as well as writing many articles about the various events in July 2005 for his own blog, he was also the tenth person to sign the J7 petition demanding the release of all 7/7 related evidence.

Lord Patel of the Internets, Edward Teague, you were, and are still, much loved, and you will be sorely missed.

Thoughts, condolences and best wishes for, to and with Edward Teague's family, friends and acquaintances.

In addition to being a prolific blogger, Edward Teague was a husband, father, businessman, botanist, writer, copywriter, textilist, arts administrator, and bookshop owner. He also managed, among other things, a stint as Craig Murray's Blackburn campaign coordinator (with more here, here, here and here). Edward Teague was also a cartoonist, and it seems apt and fitting to leave the last words to the great man himself.

Journey well, Lord Patel.

28 April 2009

Another miscarriage of justice averted by brave jury: Alleged "7/7 helpers" cleared and found Not Guilty

From J7....

"Injustice upon injustice, many others in a similar position || have not been so lucky."

-- Lawyer, Imran Khan

The second trial of the so-called "7/7 helpers" reached its conclusion today. Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, were all cleared of the charges of assisting in 7/7 at Kingston Crown Court. After nearly seven days of deliberation a jury of seven men and five women cleared the 3 accused of helping to plan the events of 7th July 2005.

The not guilty verdict comes as little surprise given the QC for the prosecution, Neil Flewitt, was reduced to admitting that the case centred on purely circumstantial evidence, circumstantial evidence which he alleged created a compelling picture of guilt. Aside from perhaps wondering when circumstantial evidence suddenly become "a compelling picture of guilt", the brave jury appears to have thought the "compelling picture" was far from conclusive.

The prosecution failed to do so much as produce CCTV footage which purported to show the three men on the alleged "hostile reconnaissance mission" and, furthermore, no proof, nor even any evidence, was produced to support the notion that the accused had even been on the underground during the sightseeing visit to London.

Andy Hayman, the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police -- who was forced to resign from his senior position with the police ranks after various improprieties came to light about his claiming large amounts of cash in expenses for trips abroad with a woman police sergeant -- said:

"The end of this trial probably represents the last throw of the dice for the police investigation into 7/7. It is extremely frustrating to reach this milestone knowing that people who aided and abetted the murders of 52 innocent people remain at large. || But at the end of that investigation the evidence that could be put before the court was largely circumstantial. That was the only evidence that was found because, perhaps, that was the only evidence there was to be found."

A report on the verdict by the BBC suggests that the decision "raises questions about the evidence gathered in one of the largest investigations ever run by Scotland Yard." In the almost four years that have passed since 7/7, the State has touted a factually inaccurate and twice amended Official Report issued by the Home Office, questionable investigative tactics by the police, and a prosecution brought by the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis of what was known to be purely circumstantial evidence.

Following the verdicts lawyer Imran Khan issued a statement on behalf of Sadeer Saleem, calling for an inquiry into why the prosecution was brought. J7 fully support Sadeer Saleem's call for an inquiry into why this prosecution was brought. Video below courtesy of the BBC.

J7 also fully supports the demand by the bereaved for fully open and public inquests for the victims to be held immediately, before the new Coroners and Justice bill passes through Parliament.

Reporting restrictions that were imposed on the trial have now been lifted and J7 expect further information to be revealed about the trial proceedings, the events alleged to have occurred on 7/7, and the wealth of links and interconnections between various alleged terror plots and individuals.

When considered in conjunction with the lies told in the ongoing attempts to cover up the hitherto unknown truth about various events in July 2005, including 7/7, 21/7 and the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, today's verdict raises yet more questions about the behaviour of the government, police and 'security' services. More recently we have witnessed: The rioting police brutality tactics that led to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the London G20 protests, complete with a stream of lies from the police, the IPCC and even the coroners; and the high-profile, armed mass-arrests of 12 Pakistani students against whom the most compelling piece of evidence appeared to be a bag of sugar, all of whom were eventually released without charge and immediately threatened with deportation.

Consequently, one might begin to suspect that the UK has fallen victim to something of a dictatorial State in which any and all members of the general public are guilty, to be held accountable until they can prove themselves innocent, while provably mendacious and guilty public officials are barely even challenged, much less ever justly held to account for their actions.

For updates on the verdict as they happen, please see the J7 People's Investigation Forum thread.

J7 again reiterates its call for an independent public inquiry, to be held outside of the remit of the shameful Inquiries Act 2005, and once again calls on the government and police to Release the Evidence which they continue to claim provides "a compelling picture of guilt" for those that stand accused of being responsible for the events of 7th July 2005.

Please show your support for J7's campaign for truth and justice and sign the J7 Release The Evidence petition.


08 April 2009

Rioting Police Physician, Heal Thy Self

Smokey mirrors policing

It would be eminently possible to pen a big long rant about the entirely staged smashing of a few RBS windows during the G20 protests that occurred in the city, perhaps asking why it might have been that their windows weren't boarded up when just about every other financial-related building was, all in anticipation of a level of violence that, on the part of the human beings labelled as 'protesters' and 'anarchists', never materialised.

But what's the point?

You can search for photos of the RBS window smashing incident yourself and note the way in which in a crowd of thousands of people the RBS window smashers coincidentally happened to be surrounded by professional film and camera wielders, all eagerly lapping up the minimal faux devastation of an empty building for a few front page headlines about how ordinary people are everything that is wrong with the world.

Cameras at the ready, Staged Media Operation Fred the Shred is underway

Who knows, you might even find a few of the photographs that show fully tooled-up riot police with cameras already inside the building and filming out, almost as if they were waiting for the incident to occur at a predetermined time and place. They might even look like a bit like this.

Peek-a-boo Rioting Police Operation

There will also always be those who, under the banner of "Telling you what they won't", will endeavour to pass such things off as nothing of any great concern. In doing so, the last vestiges of their credibility melts into air as the pretence of "telling you what they won't" manifests itself quite clearly as "telling you exactly the same thing they will".

It would be entirely possible to wax lyrical about the rioting police 'kettling' tactics -- detention without charge, en masse -- as practiced for decades and which followed the carefully stage-managed RBS window smashing incident, mentioning how one of the main functions of kettles is to boil.

But what would be the point of that?

Subjugating the general population at the behest of propertied and financial interests is the job of the police. It's what they've always done. This is nothing new and it is now clearer than it has been in recent times. The police were established to protect the property and interests of the haves from the have-nots. It's what they were created to do and it is all that they continue to do while seemingly completely oblivious to the notion that, when it comes to the crunch - credit or otherwise, they are as expendable as the rest of us.

Under capitalism, protection of property is of greater concern than the protection and well-being of human beings. When was the last time the police arrested a war criminal, particularly any British war criminals who are a part of whatever the current ruling administration might be? Or even the benefit thieving MPs who think nothing of living a life of luxury at the expense of honest, decent, hard working people who pay the money demanded with menaces usually referred to as 'tax'? The reality of the situation is that you're more likely to find police protecting war criminals.

G20: The fascism of the few manifested as the subjugation of the many.
"The country's biggest force, the Metropolitan police || believe that large sections of the population have become increasingly politicised, and there is a growing sense that the current restrictions on demonstrations are too light." -- The Guardian
On the basis that a picture tells a thousand words, the Metropolitan Police seem to be pioneering radical and revolutionary new 'alternative medicine' techniques with regard to assisting people at protests, as the photograph below clearly demonstrates.

Police medic wielding magical healing stick

We need more photographic and video evidence to make its way into the public domain and to create a media gallery of State employed thugs, FitWatch style. This gallery should be available to the public in the same way other common thugs and criminals are named and shamed to the world, so the public can protect themselves from them in times when it is blatantly clear that the police aren't on the side of humanity. We need the names of the thugs and their numbers and we need justice for the crimes committed in the defence of a system of operation that led to the battering of ordinary, peaceful, defenceless people and ultimately the murder of an innocent man, Ian Tomlinson, who wasn't even part of the G20 protest.

When police or government representatives endeavour to pass the murder of Ian Tomlinson off with a casual, "Sometimes it's difficult to tell ordinary people from protesters", they must be challenged on the issue of whether brutalising an ordinary member of the public for no valid reason is acceptable behaviour in any situation. For an ordinary member of the public is what Ian Tomlinson was before his murder at the hands of rioting police, and human beings are what every other ordinary member of the public in attendance at the G20 protests were and still are, excluding the already identified agents provacateurs responsible for a few media headlines. Labelling human beings as 'protesters' and/or 'anarchists' is no justification for any of the actions of the rioting police.

Below is the video footage obtained by The Guardian showing the big, fearless, hard-man assault from behind, on a man with his hands in his pockets, of those operating under the banner of "Working together for a safer London". A valid question might be, "A safer London for whom?"

Full marks to The Guardian for obtaining footage of the police brutality that led to the death of Ian Tomlinson and full marks to whomever filmed the footage in the first place. Now wait for the whitewash.

Update 09/04/09@01:28 Oh look, another of those lovely full-face mask wearing, rioting police types, hiding inside the otherwise empty RBS building. (Thanks@amtte)

The Rioting Police occupation of RBS seems to be fairly well documented, elsewhere in the world.

Welcome to prison ship Britain, TSG RBS computer says no.

Surprise, surprise. It's the Territorial Support Group doing what they're best at, again.

27 March 2009

Antagonista TV: Grate Britain Vs Terence McKenna

Visionary, ethnobotanist, entheobotanist, writer, linguist, shaman, philosopher, psychonaut and psychedelic explorer Terence McKenna, speaking in Seattle -- at the time of the infamous anti-capitalist inspired Battle of Seattle -- spoke the following words and advised in no uncertain terms, "Culture is not your friend". McKenna was of course talking about corporate culture, the type which seeks to hold hostage and keep from you sounds, shapes, patterns, colours and images that would otherwise be free for all to share.
What civilization is, is 6 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other's shoulders and kicking each other's teeth in. It's not a pleasant situation. And yet, you can stand back and look at this planet and see that we have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us - the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanising values that are handed down as control icons.

This is something -- I mean I don't really want to get off on this tear because it's a lecture in itself -- but culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people's convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture.

Yet we glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual. We understand the felt-presence of experience is what is most important. But the culture is a perversion. It fetishises objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanise themselves by behaving like machines - meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood and what have you.

How do we fight back? It's a question worth answering. I think that by creating art -- art -- man was not put on this planet to toil in the mud. Or the god who put us on this planet to toil in the mud is no god I want to have any part of. It's some kind of gnostic demon, it's some kind of cannibalistic dema urge that should be thoroughly renounced and rejected.

By putting the art pedal to the metal we really, I think, maximise our humanness and become much more necessary and incomprehensible to the machines.

Terence McKenna - Culture is not your friend

The following is, in all likelihood, exactly the sort of thing to which McKenna was referring when he suggested the creation of art as part of the fight back against corporate culture and the mass psychology of fascism:

"What price for freedom? Fascist martial law."

As the man says, don't give up on solutions.

Thanks to Bridget in the comments here for the pointer to Grate Britain.

David Harvey Interviewed on New York Public Radio

Presented here is a great interview with Professor David Harvey, as aired on New York Public Radio, in which he talks about the state of various aspects of the world including the immense and almost unmentioned consolidation of class power that is occurring in the world of States, banking and finance. It is worth noting that while there are some efforts being made to consolidate working class power, these efforts would appear to be somewhat less concerted and considerably less well organised at the transnational level than those of the banking, financial and ruling classes. However, there is still time and we have all the tools for doing so already to hand.

The interview with Harvey includes some discussion of the way in which solutions to the permanent crisis of capitalism lie not in falling back on previous historical models for running things, but rather in novel, realistic, legitimate and achievable new models that can create a more fair, just and equal society in which the needs -- rather than the selfish wants, and desires -- of everyone, not just the rich, ruling classes, can be realised.

So, for example, at least as far as digital content goes, we already have in existence the New Economy of Community, established and operating without let or hindrance. This is despite the continued evil machinations of global media oligopolies whose existences are entirely dependent on the wholesale robbery of both their customers and the artists on whose backs their media empires have been built. Of course, such machinations by corporations would not be possible were it not for the almost total compliance of the Corporatist state lackeys responsible for passing regressive and repressive legislation (usually referred to as 'governments').

Anyway, back to the original reason for this post, the interview with Professor David Harvey. The full interview is 24 minutes long and you can listen to it below, or download an MP3 copy for off-line listening:

While you're listening, you may also wish to contemplate the following words, recently added to the Antagonista Manifesto in the sidebar:
Throw away your ambitions for membership to the socially acceptable position of wage slave.

26 March 2009

No Fifth amendment, "No Comment."

Still think Orwellian, Big Brother style, police state fascism isn't in operation? Open your eyes.

You may not have the right to silence, but you certainly have the right to "No comment." Lessons in why from America via Professor James Duane.

25 March 2009

If you suspect it, report it

The "It" referred to in the title of this post is, of course, bullsh-it.

Recent political power surges have ensured the appointment of Josef Goebbels as minister for news and propaganda from beyond the grave. Residents of prison ship Britain wake to find themselves living simultaneously in the maelstroms of the occupied territories of Iraq, the occupied territories of Afghanistan and the occupied territories of Palestine, all without the hassle of having to sell their homes in challenging economic times.
Government warns of nuclear terror threat - Telegraph.co.uk

New anti-terror strategy warns of chemical attack threat - guardian.co.uk

Fanatics 'could use roadside bombs to kill VIPs in Britain'
- Daily Mail

Terror attack on UK highly likely, says Home Office - Scotsman

UK citizens encouraged to confront terror threat
- The Herald

'Workers army' trained for counter-terror force - Times Online
All this marks the launch of the long time in the making Contest 2 'anti-terror' strategy of the government, as widely publicised by the housing benefit thief Home Secretary, J'Accuse Smith (no relation to housing benefit thief Employment Minister Tony McNulty).

The publication of the report coincides with a new police campaign to urge Londoners (and nobody else?) to report 'suspicious activity'. Gordon BrNWO was banging on about it in last week's Sunday Observer. For his efforts, as if he wrote the article in question, BrNWO received a good and entirely justified verbal kicking right until the bitter end.

Goebbels' new campaign to reinstate blockleiters comes with a few simple posters issued by the simple police as the cross media marketers are only too aware that people busy losing their homes, savings, pensions, cars and just about everything else they've ever worked for, with no end in sight, probably don't have the time to read lengthy government reports designed to distract from the misery of the material reality of their existences.

One of the posters looks a little something like this, only slightly different (click for larger image):

What the government hasn't [sic] failed to notice in its haste to train 60,000 people to recognise what the ruling classes like to think of as terrorists -- through the use of posters featuring Aryan folk in the foreground, complete with Aryan babies, while a couple of lesser, darker-skinned human beings mill about in the background because, despite everything, they must appear to matter too -- is that the 60 million residents of the UK already learned to recognise terrorists and terrorist activity when they see them.

Handy clues like the mass-murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people is simultaneously a bit of a giveaway and a clincher and it will stand up in an International Criminal Court of law a bit better than black pepper, hair dye and chemical impossibilities, so pretending that hairdressers and chefs and "hardcore antagonists" are terrorists just isn't going to wash any more.

Bullshit - If you suspect it, report it.

04 March 2009

Antagonista TV: The New American Century, a film by Massimo Mazzucco

"A stunning film. It should be seen as widely as possible, in cinemas, bars, clubs, at meetings and, of course, through the internet. I'm sure the film will continue to be a source of debate and political education for many years. Maybe until the war criminals have been brought to trial."

-- Ken Loach
A recommendation like that, from one of the best and most admirable film directors in history, should be sufficient to pique people's interest.
"In the White House, they weren't thinking of 9/11 as an attack, but as a gift!"

-- Robert Steele, former CIA agent
What's all the fuss about?
Worldwide Screening of Massimo Mazzucco's Political Documentary
Starting January 23rd 2009

On 23rd January, the political documentary ‘THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY’ was screened worldwide through a network of digital cinemas ranging from Italy to Brazil, from Spain to South Africa. With international press coverage and the support of prominent filmmakers from all over the world, the event shows that the existing digital network is already capable of effectively delivering a complete product on a global basis.

The digital revolution is working at both ends of the chain, the clear beneficiary being the audience in the middle. On one end the exhibitor, faced with dramatically lower costs, can afford to choose from a much wider range of films than those offered by the mainstream circuit. On the other end, filmmakers can now embark in low-cost, hi-quality production with the full awareness that there is a valid, worldwide venue awaiting their product, enabling them to reach a proportionately satisfying audience.

At the same time the astonishing rate of technical improvement by the internet indicates that the full integration of the digital realm is only minutes away. When that happens, the array of possibilities - ranging from downloadable updates for works-in-progress to live, server-to-theater digital feed - will make the existing system so obsolete that it won't even be necessary to fight the restrictions the majors are now trying to impose on digital distribution in a desperate effort to survive such rapidly changing times.

All efforts should be made to support bold events like this. Any steps towards discovering a new distribution method for truly independent films is valuable for filmmakers and audiences alike."

-- Gonzalo Justiniano

Angry? Outraged? Livid? Incensed? Good!

What was good for the Saddam goose is also good for the Imperialist, plundering, profiteering ganders. Time to start twisting hemp into some rope yarns as the momentum increases to get Blair and his war criminal cohorts up in front of the International Criminal Court for multiple breaches of the Rule of International Law, the U.N. Charter, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and miscellaneous other war laws.
John Pilger, David Halpin, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Lindsey German, Ben Griffin, Dr Nawal Saadawi, Haifa Zangana, Dr Kamil Mahdi, Bruce Kent, and other citizens of Spain, Argentina, USA, and UK, support a Blair War Crimes Foundation to seek signatures for a petition to the United Nations General Assembly and the UK Attorney General, to uphold the UN Charter, the Geneva and Hague Conventions, and International Law, and to indict Tony Blair for war crimes.
Sign the petition here. Harold Pinter would have rallied for the cause too.

Time for everyone to play their part in wiping the smug, meretricious grin from Blair's lying, mass-murdering, bastard face, and not a moment too soon. Rather, much too late. Those also complicit in these war crimes should not rest easy either for their time and numbers are almost up too.

Truth will prevail -- is prevailing -- justice will be done, and the world will be a better place for it.

Updated 25/06/09 - Fixed embedded video link.

03 March 2009

Reason.... administrivia

Recent Reason.... blog housekeeping notes, predominantly as a historical note to self, although regular readers of Reason... may also be minorly interested. Thus far a general revamping and rejigging of the sidebars has occurred, including:
  • LHS: Shifted Feelers from right to left hand sidebar (RHS -> LHS)

  • LHS: Added Antagonista Reason'd Tweets with link to Twitter updates. Anyone wanting more regular updates than currently appear on Reason.... are directed here. For example:

    Blair War Crimes Foundation: International support for 14 #warcrime charges under International Law http://bit.ly/lqAyC


    "More than 1,500 people, paying £35 a ticket, attended the Convention on Modern Liberty in London!" Dissent, if you can afford it! #coml

  • LHS: Updated Get Antagonised to include new Google-acquired Feedburner email subscription facility and fixed 'in The Guardian' link. Also Added on Channel 4 News.

  • LHS: Added Archivo Antagonista TV with links to posts on Reason where video forms the bulk of the post content. Also fixed embedded video links in posts that had broken over time.

  • LHS: Added a few more quotes to the Words of Wisdom section, including this gem (Thanks Kier!):

    We need to work like the Zapatistas do, like ants who go everywhere no matter which political party the other belongs to. Zapatistas proved people can work together in spite of differences.” - Anna Esther Cecena of the FZLN

  • RHS: Shifted 'Recently Antagonised' recent comments feed up for better/quicker accessibility.

  • RHS: Updated Companeros (links to the handful of blogs actually worth reading) with a few new links.

  • RHS: Added Google FriendConnect Followers widget (keep 'em coming!) for anyone that wants to see the latest updates in their Blogger dashboard.

  • RHS: Profile link shifted to top.

  • RHS: Shifted Antagonista Manifesto to RHS.
That's it for now. More posts (mostly already written) in the pipeline, time and circumstance allowing.


28 February 2009

Class struggle back on student agenda

Tying together a few political loose ends from now and various other points in recent history:
Amidst the decomposition of the old world, false consciousness -- which still reigns but no longer governs -- has the nerve to take to task a whole generation of young proletarians, who have re-launched the offensive against the society of the spectacle, for not being able to resolve all the questions at the origin of both their revolt and the crisis in which all the appointed powers are floundering. The real situation is very different: what the young proletarians are in fact being taken to task for is posing questions that power cannot resolve, for it is power itself that is being questioned.

A recent article from the Independent:
The Independent
Students are revolting: The spirit of '68 is reawakening
Sunday, 8 February 2009

They are the iPod generation of students: politically apathetic, absorbed by selfish consumerism, dedicated to a few years of hedonism before they land a lucrative job in the City. Not any more. A seismic change is taking place in British universities.

Around the UK, thousands of students have occupied lecture theatres, offices and other buildings at more than 20 universities in sit-down protests. It seems that the spirit of 1968 has returned to the campus.

While it was the situation in Gaza that triggered this mass protest, the beginnings of political enthusiasm have already spread to other issues.
Oh yes. Below are some student occupation web sites triggered by the recent dramatic murderous increase in the plight of human beings in Palestine:
Any others?

As the Independent article noted, political enthusiasm spreads to other issues, with the spirit of Mario Savio running through them:

No wonder senior police officers are concerned about a "summer of rage" and less wonder still that such concerns were pre-empted by the Minstry of Defence, which wrote:
The Middle Class Proletariat
The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.

Source: The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Progamme 2007-2036 [PDF]
Published by the Ministry of Defence

Viva la people's revolution!

18 February 2009

Steal This Film - Pirate Bay #spectrial Edition (updating)

If anyone reading this uses a computing device of any sort, a viewing of Steal This Film Trial Edition is heartily recommended, even if you haven't heard of the current spectacle trial [Twitter: #spectrial] brought by the media industry against some Swedish kids who enjoy technical challenges and travel the Internet under the moniker of The Pirate Bay. More later on the spectrial in which half the charges were dropped within the first two days.

Keep an eye out for appearances by Sebastian Lütgert and his endorsement of peer-to-peer as the new economy of community. He positively buzzes on the vibe of what he describes as:
"a force like this, a power like this, zillions of people, connected. Sharing data, sharing their work, sharing the work of others. The situation is unprecedented in human history and it is a force that will not be stopped."
"The files have been shared. There's no way back. It's not about shutting down BitTorrent. It would be about confiscating everyone's hard drives. The files are out there. They have been downloaded. They're down. There's no up anymore. They're all down."
All the creativity of each and every connected individual shared in one big collective of information, ideas, sights and sounds.The only people upset about it are those moneyed enough not to have to worry about it. Therefore, the root of the issue isn't the one stated by the media mafia and their 'legal' representation -- which includes Monique Wadstedt who also acts on behalf of the Church of Scientology -- of money and profits but the control of information and sensory experience, sensory experiences that the dominator capitalist culture has always sought to imprison within various commoditised Pandora's boxes. But Pandora's Box was opened a long time ago. Steal This Film!


There are a good few writings on Reason.... in relation to the human inclination to participate in the sharing of resources via the Internet and peer to peer technologies. Many of the ideas expressed in these articles feature in Steal This Film because, no matter what the issue and despite what the post-modernists and liars might have everyone believe, truth is objective. A good place to start is the P2P label. Personal favourites include:
Oh, and if you happen to believe there is any justification for the years of legal actions instigated by various cabals of media conglomerates against various individuals and groups outside of their profiteering cabal, perhaps you should learn a little more of how and why the Internet was designed.
Computer Networks - The Heralds of Resource Sharing
A documentary film about the history of the ARPANET and birth of the Internet.

Thus is exposed the inherent injustice, wrongness and intrinsic flaws in the actions of global media conglomerates as they endeavour to persecute and profit from people who are only using the Internet for the purpose it was intended, sharing.

---===[ STEAL THIS ARTICLE! ]===---
Link it, copy it, email it,
PDF it, print it, Digg it,
Mixx it, Reddit, Stumble it,
Tweet it.

---===[ STEAL THIS ARTICLE! ]===---


- This filesharer.org business is probably worth steering clear of:
This is what a criminal looks like | filesharer.org
Let the music and movie industry know who the file-sharers are. Upload a picture of yourself and show them what a criminal looks like!
Oh yes, good idea. Probably best to also send them your home and work addresses along with the bank details of any accounts held in your name. [Edit: For balance see Thomas' comment]

- Day 5 of #spectrial and questions are raised by the defence about whether the prosecution was a political action rather than a criminal one. Given the approximate association of the Pirate Bay with the Pirate Party and their copyright and patent objectives, and the fact that half the criminal charges against the Pirate Bay were dropped in the first two days of the trial, it's difficult to see the debacle as anything other than a political prosecution.

The Pirate Bay is loosely affiliated with the Pirate Party. The Pirate Party's sole aims appear to be the reform of copyright law, the abolition of patents, and guaranteeing the right to privacy, none of which are bad things for greater mass of the humanity:

The Pirate Party

Introduction to Politics and Principles

The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected. With this agenda, and only this, we are making a bid for representation in the European and Swedish parliaments.

Not only do we think these are worthwhile goals. We also believe they are realistically achievable on a European basis. The sentiments that led to the formation of the Pirate Party in Sweden are present throughout Europe. There are already similar political initiatives under way in several other member states. Together, we will be able to set a new course for a Europe that is currently heading in a very dangerous direction.

The Pirate Party only has three issues on its agenda:

Reform of copyright law

The official aim of the copyright system has always been to find a balance in order to promote culture being created and spread. Today that balance has been completely lost, to a point where the copyright laws severely restrict the very thing they are supposed to promote. The Pirate Party wants to restore the balance in the copyright legislation.

All non-commercial copying and use should be completely free. File sharing and p2p networking should be encouraged rather than criminalized. Culture and knowledge are good things, that increase in value the more they are shared. The Internet could become the greatest public library ever created.

The monopoly for the copyright holder to exploit an aesthetic work commercially should be limited to five years after publication. Today's copyright terms are simply absurd. Nobody needs to make money seventy years after he is dead. No film studio or record company bases its investment decisions on the off-chance that the product would be of interest to anyone a hundred years in the future. The commercial life of cultural works is staggeringly short in today's world. If you haven't made your money back in the first one or two years, you never will. A five years copyright term for commercial use is more than enough. Non-commercial use should be free from day one.

We also want a complete ban on DRM technologies, and on contract clauses that aim to restrict the consumers' legal rights in this area. There is no point in restoring balance and reason to the legislation, if at the same time we continue to allow the big media companies to both write and enforce their own arbitrary laws.

An abolished patent system

Pharmaceutical patents kill people in third world countries every day. They hamper possibly life saving research by forcing scientists to lock up their findings pending patent application, instead of sharing them with the rest of the scientific community. The latest example of this is the bird flu virus, where not even the threat of a global pandemic can make research institutions forgo their chance to make a killing on patents.

The Pirate Party has a constructive and reasoned proposal for an alternative to pharmaceutical patents. It would not only solve these problems, but also give more money to pharmaceutical research, while still cutting public spending on medicines in half. This is something we would like to discuss on a European level.

Patents in other areas range from the morally repulsive (like patents on living organisms) through the seriously harmful (patents on software and business methods) to the merely pointless (patents in the mature manufacturing industries).

Europe has all to gain and nothing to lose by abolishing patents outright. If we lead, the rest of the world will eventually follow.

Respect for the right to privacy

Following the 9/11 event in the US, Europe has allowed itself to be swept along in a panic reaction to try to end all evil by increasing the level of surveillance and control over the entire population. We Europeans should know better. It is not twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and there are plenty of other horrific examples of surveillance-gone-wrong in Europe's modern history.

The arguments for each step on the road to the surveillance state may sound ever so convincing. But we Europeans know from experience where that road leads, and it is not somewhere we want to go.

We must pull the emergency brake on the runaway train towards a society we do not want. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it. The Pirate Party wants to prevent that from happening.
The Pirate Party ideology appears to be spreading.
The cocky forthrightness of the Pirate Bay and their defence team, along with the links into the Pirate Party lend further credibility to the idea that this is indeed a political prosecution by the Media Corporations Inc. of those espousing and bringing to life an opposing ideology that threatens the concept of private ownership of everything, from physical objects to ideas.

Mark Getty, chairman of Getty Images, summed it up when he said:
"Intellectual Property is the oil of the 21st century."

Update 25/02/09
Free is as Free Does

One of the many invalid arguments of the transnational global media conglomerates to deflect, detract and distract from the main motivating factor for their actions, the profit motive, is that artists won't do anything for free. This argument, they believe, is sufficient justification for extending their historical racketeering ways without let or hindrance across international boundaries and borders.

According to the media industry: Artists won't create art, musicians won't make music, film makers won't make films, and writers won't write.

What those who seek global full spectrum dominance over humanity's shared culture have failed to notice as the Internet and the world has grown up around them, leaving the former culture controlling giants as cowering, anti-human midgets in the process, is that the whole of Internet-connected humanity is perfectly prepared to do pretty much everything for free. Such is the nature of the new economy of community where we consciously recognise our shared humanity in open defiance of those who would seek to keep us all in separate, convenient, individualist, nuclear-familied consumer units.

The truth of the matter is that artists WILL create art, musicians WILL make music, and writers WILL write. They have been doing it throughout history and the history of the Internet. In turn, the Internet has developed to facilitate ever more novel ways and means to make it so.

This article was conceived of, written, and published for free. Below is some art created for free by Eisner Award-winner Dylan Horrocks' that is specifically NOT copyrighted, originally drawn up in support of New Zealand's #blackout, which appeared on The Pirate Bay. Elsewhere, the Internet is awash with articles that people have written and published for free, music that people have made and published for free, and films like Steal This Film which have been created and published for free.

Today it is announced that the typist for the whole of the world's culture, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, "is aiming to have the framework of an international strategy to combat illegal internet downloads agreed with the US and European partners by the autumn." Yesterday, Irish ISP Eircom wasn't going to comply with requests to block access to sites like the Pirate Bay. Today, apparently, that decision is reversed.

It is reputed that the godfather of Fascism, Benito Mussolini, claimed that fascism could be thought of as the seamless merging of state and corporate power. The actions of the international media conglomerates, in tandem with various governments, are quite simply the modern manifestation of Mussolini's political ambitions.

The fight back against those that seek to suppress the innate human creativity and the innate human need to share their creativity is now the imperative duty of everyone.

The legendary Terence McKenna on how corporate/State controlled Culture is not Your Friend:

Ho ho ho! IFPI and their legal team appear to be clutching at straws somewhat: Pirate Bay Day 8 - Prosecutors change charges | Technology | guardian.co.uk