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20 October 2008

Antagonista TV #911: Capitalism Hits the Fan

It's probably time for a few words on the global financial meltdown cutely named the "credit crunch" but, in the interim, have some words on the same crafted by a bona fide professor.

The sound and video quality on the video below is average -- actually, it's of a better standard than the BBC's recent high-technology, high-quality foreign news reports that look like they were recorded on early incarnations of mobile phone cameras -- but if it's a little rational commentary, a quick oversight of recent history and a few crumbs for compiling into morsels of food for thought you're after, then it's worth persevering with.
Capitalism Hits the Fan A Marxian View
Oct 7, 2008 - 39 minutes

Richard Wolff a professor of economics at UMass Amherst talks on the current "financial" crisis and capitalism in general. A form of socialism is presented as a possible alternative. This talk was presented by the Association for Economic and Social Analysis and the journal Rethinking Marxism.

That videos such as the one above appear from out of nowhere, for all to see, and that such things are free to watch, listen to and learn from is yet another manifestation of the new economy of community outlined here some time ago. This is the same new economy of community for which plans exist, among small groupings of paranoiacs with access to the “paraphernalia of paranoia”, to bring it all to a crashing end.

Paranoia is the new normal black

From Marie Claire, the glossy dead tree that tells you all you need to know, comes this little gem:
Paranoia is on the rise

Feeling a bit on edge this morning? You're not the only one apparently, after British scientists claim the 21st century is the 'age of paranoia'.

A growing combination of factors including the rise in numbers living in cities, the physical environment in which we live, the growing divide between the rich and poor and the rise and reporting of crime and terrorism are all attributed to the growing phenomena.

Clinical psychologist, Dr Daniel Freeman, stated: 'We seem to have entered an age of paranoia. And the indications are that things may only get worse. These days, we daren't let our children play outside. We're suspicious of strangers. Security cameras are everywhere.' ....

It seems to have escaped Marie Claire's notice that the "security cameras" that "are everywhere" weren't, for the most part, put there by ordinary members of the general public but instead placed and maintained at the behest of State and corporate tyrannies seeking to protect themselves from the general public.

So, without looking too far, or demanding too much from Marie Claire's writers -- who, in fairness, briefly touch on the real issue that the story seeks to mask -- it has been a simple matter to identify the true specific groupings and classes of individuals among which "Paranoia is on the rise". The Ministry of Defence kindly provided a more detailed explanation for the alarming rise in paranoia among States and corporations which Marie Claire endeavours to palm off as an individual (personal) problem rather than the institutional (political “paraphernalia of paranoia”) problem that it really is:
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, 7MB]
Published by the Ministry of Defence

16 October 2008

Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death

Of course, the title of this post, taken from a Daily Mail headline of yesteryear, is an impossibility. There is no full-time Met chief to face a quiz over SAS involvement in the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes any more. This is because one of the queen's most crafty relatives, bendy-bastard Boarish Johnson, decreed it must be. Johnson did so dictatorially, after first seizing control of the Metropolitan Police Authority, to, as he claimed, resolve a "democratic deficit" in the way in which Met chiefs are appointed. Dictatorship is certainly one way of resolving a "democratic deficit", if only through its complete removal of any process that is remotely democratic.

Moving forward, looking back. Stories from the past, where are they now? History rewritten in the blink of an eye.

The headline "Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death" could, however, have been true at the time of its publication. And indeed it was. On 9th September 2007 a most off-message news alert appeared featuring the very same headline:
Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death
Daily Mail - UK

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair is facing questions today over whether the SAS was involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. ...

Naturally, that's the sort of bombastic announcement that demands immediate attention. Except, in the brief period of time between the story being published, the email alert being received and visiting the page containing the story, the historical revisionists had struck in a bid to suppress another piece of history's jigsaw.
Sir Ian Blair's future in doubt as political critics renew attack
Daily Mail - UK

Sir Ian Blair faced growing questions about his future today as London politicians expressed new concerns about the way he runs the Met.
A somewhat tamer headline and no mention at all of any SAS involvement in the events of July 2005. The Times though was less repentant when it posed the question shortly after what Oxford Professor of Jurisprudence, John Gardner, called "the police’s Mossad-style execution of a ’suspect’ (who turned out to be a completely innocent passer-by) on Friday 22 July"
July 31, 2005
Could Stockwell 'police officer' be a soldier?
BRITISH special forces soldiers took part in the operation that led to the shoot-to-kill death of an innocent Brazilian electrician with no connection to the London bombings, defence sources said last week. Jean Charles de Menezes was tailed by a surveillance team on July 22 as he caught a bus to Stockwell Underground station in south London. He was shot eight times when he fled from his pursuers at the Tube station.

The Ministry of Defence admitted last week that the army provided “technical assistance” to the surveillance operation but insisted the soldiers concerned were “not directly involved” in the shooting.

The Guardian was also happy to confirm the use of a "New special forces unit" that apparently tailed de Menezes, highlighting the involvement of the unit descended from Northern Ireland's notorious 14 Int, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Would 14 Int send out surveillance teams without armed backup in their day? What about its "new normal" equivalent, the SRR, when dealing with the potential threat of alleged "suicide bombers"? It was even reported by the Sunday Herald that, "SRR personnel are also believed to have been on the tube train when he was shot".

The army was "not directly involved" in the execution of de Menezes, said the MoD. But then, it has long been established that MoD policy dictates that "it would never confirm SAS involvement in any operation." Further lack of detail from the MoD was elicited by Tom Griffin in September 2006.

Back to standing on the square whose number is one.

Meanwhile, the inquest into the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes by unknown, unnamed and guaranteed anonymous killers continues at the Oval cricket ground. Daily transcripts of the inquest proceedings are published on the inquest web site which was established to the same template as that of the Diana Inquest. Submitted evidence exhibits are also available here.

Marvel as the legendary Michael Mansfield QC, acting on behalf of the de Menezes family, repeatedly falls short of pursuing potentially interesting and revealing lines of questioning. Then wonder why.

Additional information and commentary is available at the Justice4Jean web site and the J4J Inquest blog. There is also extensive coverage of the proceedings over at the J7 Jean Charles de Menezes forum and the dedicated J7 Jean Charles de Menezes Inquest forum.

Edit: So far, there's no mention of Anthony Larkin and his infamous "bomb belt with wires" quote, nor Mark Whitby and the "padded jacket", nor has there been any mention of another apparent eye-witness, Sue Thomason, an early source for the idea that 11 shots had been fired.