Nils -- The predators of New Orleans
The predators of New Orleans
After the criticism of his disastrous handling the Katrina disaster, President George Bush promises a reconstruction programme of $200bn for areas destroyed by the hurricane. But the first and biggest beneficiaries will be businesses that specialise in profiting from disaster, and have already had lucrative contracts in Iraq; they will gentrify New Orleans at the expense of its poor, black citizens.
Brian -- Zizek -- Objet a as Inherent Limit to Capitalism
What makes Empire and Multitude such a refreshing reading (clearly the definitive exercises in Deleuzian politics) is that we are dealing with books which refer to and function as the moment of theoretical reflection of-one is almost tempted to say: are embedded in-an actual global movement of anti-capitalist resistance: one can sense, behind the written lines, the smells and sounds of Seattle, Genoa and Zapatistas. So their theoretical limitation is simultaneously the limitation of the actual movement.
Hardt's and Negri's basic move, an act which is by no means ideologically neutral (and, incidentally, which is totally foreign to their philosophical paradigm, Deleuze!), is to identify (to name) "democracy" as the common denominator of all today's emancipatory movements: "The common currency that runs throughout so many struggles and movements for liberation across the world today - at local, regional, and global levels - is the desire for democracy." 1 Far from standing for a utopian dream, democracy is "the only answer to the vexing questions of our day, /.../ the only way out of our state of perpetual conflict and war." 2 Not only is democracy inscribed into the present antagonisms as an immanent telos of their resolution; even more, today, the rise of the multitude in the heart of capitalism "makes democracy possible for the first time" 3 Till now, democracy was constrained by the form of the One, of the sovereign state power; "absolute democracy" ("the rule of everyone by everyone, a democracy without qualifiers, without ifs or buts," 4 only becomes possible when "the multitude is finally able to rule itself." 5
Borderlands -- Responsibility in a Place and Time of Terror
"War on Terror"
Responsibility in a Place and Time of Terror
University of New South Wales
1. On July 14, 2003, under the leading headline "The Traitors Within", the Sydney Morning Herald outlined ways that Australia harbours a "network of terrorist sympathisers" that supports and exports "offshore extremists" (p.1). This knowledge, that covert unforeseeable aggression directed against a sovereign state is not only possible but may come from within its territory, is one defining feature of this place and time of terror; another is knowing that one’s sovereignty will be targeted but without knowing when. Knowing that one’s sovereignty is targeted but not knowing from where, whom, or when renders the borders of sovereignty and its future uncertain. It is this uncertainty of place and time that inspires and characterises terror. At the same time, certain Government-led responses to terrorism (the ‘finger-pointing’ headlines and Government policies of surveillance, exclusion, and of pre-emptive strikes against ‘outsiders’), responses that presume to know, delimit, and seek to protect the borders of sovereignty, contribute to the terror. Assuming to know what is impossible to know, the spatio-temporal borders of sovereignty and the origin of unforeseeable threats to it, can not only instil terror in those ‘outsiders’ targeted and excluded, but also in those ‘outsiders’ arising within one’s territory. Such self-certainty in a place and time of terror effects an implosion that Derrida, in Philosophy in the Time of Terror, has called an "autoimmunitary process", whe
Rene -- Blueprint for war
A different kind of activism and an interesting interview - rg
Since 1997, an obscure US organisation has been promoting a preemptive and explicitly aggressive approach to securing American dominance in the 21st century. Under cover of such terms as "benevolent hegemony" and "preventive war", they have spent the last years elaborating their plans for the use of excessive military force to intimidate the rest of the world. Many of the key supporters of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) entered the White House along with George W Bush in 2000, and have been instrumental in designing and launching the war on terror in general, and the occupation of Iraq in particular. This week, a People's Tribunal opens in Brussels, Belgium, to try the PNAC for their part in dragging the world into a state of permanent war. The BRussells Tribunal, inspired by the hearings held in 1967 by philosopher Bertrand Russell into American war crimes in Vietnam, is just the first session in a series of citizens' forums which will be held around the world over the next year, and which seek to expose and condemn the dark face of current American foreign policy. As the Tribunal opens in Belgium,Frederick Bowie spoke to participants about what they hoped to achieve, and what the world needs to know about America's neo-conservative palace revolution.
Blueprint for war
The BRussels Tribunal began life as the brainchild of Belgian philosopher Lieven de Cauter. On the eve of the proceedings, he talks to Fredrick Bowie about "benevolent hegemony" and the coming state of permanent catastrophe
How did you get involved in setting up the BRussells Tribunal?
I discovered the existence of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) almost by accident. I was surfing on the Web last spring, trying to find out what was behind the politics of the impending war. I had planned to spend the spring writing a novel, and finishing up another book: because I am and remain a writer and a philosopher. But when I came upon the PNAC Web site, I was so shocked, that I thought, No, we cannot just let this happen without trying to do something about it.
The war had not yet begun, but it was clear that if it did go ahead, it would break the existing international legal order. The PNAC documents made it clear that this was not just an unreflective reaction: there was a plan, and it had all been written down. So the American invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 -- that's the bad news! 9/11 was just the occasion to implement and execute the plan.
Rene -- Man whose Web site shows pictures of war dead is arrested
Man whose Web site shows pictures of war dead is arrested
Saturday, October 8, 2005
BY ANTHONY COLAROSSI
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Authorities have arrested a Lakeland, Fla., man on obscenity charges after investigating his adult Web site, which has gained international attention for allegedly allowing U.S. soldiers to post pictures of war dead on the Internet.
The charges against Christopher M. Wilson, a former police officer, are likely to reignite the debate about obscene material in the Internet age. They also raise questions about whether the federal government played a part in motivating the prosecution.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said late Friday that the 300 obscenity-related charges against Wilson -- which include counts of distribution of obscene material, offering to distribute obscene material and possession of obscene material with intent to distribute -- involve sexual content posted on his Web site, and not graphic war-scene images posted by soldiers.
"It is the most horrific, vile, perverted sexual conduct," Judd said. "It is as vile, as perverted, as non-normal sexual conduct -- which rises to the level of obscenity -- as we've ever investigated."
Stuart (via Nettime) -- EU says internet could fall apart
[The problem with the 'walled garden' approach is that users often are
penalised either by no interconnection, high interconnect fees (due to
monopoly power of service providers over gateways), sluggish performance,
and restricted functionality. This issue has been coming to a head for
years. ICANN does suck - the potential for government abuse sucks too. The
real problem here seems to be the existence of a central core. The real
solution, therefore is to remove the central core from the DNS. At the end
of the day, the root servers are single points of failure and ripe for
attack. The DNS must be redesigned to make it completely distributed,
improving resiliency and security while also removing the problem of who
gets to be King. More articles on this here:
EU says internet could fall apart
Developing countries demand share of control US says urge to censor
underlies calls for reform
Richard Wray Wednesday October 12, 2005 The Guardian
A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding
to maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries
demanding more control.
The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a
meeting in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart.
At issue is the role of the US government in overseeing the internet's
address structure, called the domain name system (DNS), which enables
communication between the world's computers. It is managed by the
California-based, not-for-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (Icann) under contract to the US department of commerce.
A meeting of officials in Geneva last month was meant to formulate a way of
sharing internet governance which politicians could unveil at the
UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis on November
16-18. A European Union plan that goes a long way to meeting the demands of
developing countries to make the governance more open collapsed in the face
of US opposition.
Brian Holmes -- THE SCANDAL OF THE WORD "CLASS"
THE SCANDAL OF THE WORD "CLASS"
A review of David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford UP, 2005)
David Harvey's new book has four faces on its cover: Reagan, Thatcher,
Pinochet and Deng Xiaoping. It makes one self-evident, yet strangely
scandalous assertion: the rise of neoliberal economics since the late 1970s
? or more precisely, since the bankruptcy of New York City and the
dictatorship in Chile ? is the centerpiece of a deliberate project to
restore upper-class power.
True to its title, the book presents a concise but extremely well-documented
economic history of the last three decades, encompassing not only the usual
G-7 countries but the entire world, with a particular emphasis on the US and
capitalist China. It identifies structural trends of neoliberal governance
that, as the book nears conclusion, serve equally to explicate the present
crisis, both of the global economy and of interstate relations. And finally
it asks the political question of how resurgent upper-class power can
successfully be opposed. Here is where the most benefit could be gained by
examining the aura of scandal that surrounds its central thesis.