"We will not rid ourselves of God, until we rid ourselves of our faith in grammar"

Nietzsche - Twilight of the Idols

hehe.. also see: this "quaint traditions and superstitions" guy

"Even grammar does not escape his attacks, for it is a system of rules, order, and the repository of a hidden belief in causality."


*UK not to disclose key war report;

On Saturday, senior lawyer Lord Alexander de Weedon said publication of Goldsmith's argument was vital because it had allowed Britain to enter the war along with the United States in March last year.

De Weedon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme Goldsmith's advice was "the most important legal opinion of the last 50 years".

"Without it the war would not have gone ahead and 20,000 Iraqis would not have been killed.

"If there are good reasons it may restore some confidence (in the government)," he said. "If there are bad reasons it is important they should be confirmed."

*In other news;

US to continue use of landmines

Pakistan denies bin Ladin 'capture'

*"there are no facts, only interpretations"


langue = fascism; at least as it stands. see what you're driving at. the grammar question!

"forced to speak" = frenchie hysteria?

*Frans Masereel = superb, like melancoly gershwin (if you follow me...)

"This is the city and I am one of the citizens,
Whatever interests the rest interests me. . . ."
frans masereel

from die stadt (the city), 1925
* quite, completely agree - although this level of differentiation ought to credit barthes to some degree as well, especially if considering the following: it seems that barthes is using saussure's distinction between parole (speech, ie. the live language) and langue (being the syntactic and grammatical system re: speech and writing):

"A language is therefore, so to speak, language minus speech: it is at the same time a social institution and a system of values. As a social institution, it is by no means an act, and it is not subject to any premeditation. It is the social part of language, the individual cannot by himself either create or modify it; it is essentially a collective contract which one must accept in its entirety if one wishes to communicate."

it's langue then, which is being designated as fascist here. i got the impression that this is about the creation of linguistic conventions and meaning, which can be rather oppressive without hermeneutic reflection: our conventions imply the rules that govern the system that gives us meaning. cf. nietzsche's universal perspectivism ("there are no facts, only interpretations" - "hermeneuin", v - to interpret).

gadamer: "In language there is, first of all, both langue and parole, to use Saussure's distinction. The spoken word (parole) is something other than the system of symbols (langue) that constitute language. . . . Speech exists in texts. Yes, certainly, but the texts are alien or brutal. How is this speech, the speaking word, really preserved in the written text? Is it completely the utterance of my mind? Are we not all acquainted with the alienation between what we said and what we had in mind? . . . We must always look for the real meaning of an utterance."

it seems that the epistemic fallacy of positive acceptance is something that happens via langue, as in, the creation of meaning in language is a positive step. not to say that "language is fascist", but that an unreflective application thereof will most certainly lead to "mental slavery", especially in a world where an individualist and profane hermeneutic is non-existent. it seems to be in the systematic nature of langue where barthes sees a certain degree of totalitarian coercion to this end, not in the content or the act of communication itself - i don't think then that he actually denies the possibility of liberated expression per se. but anyway, can't make much of "forced to speak" notion either. other than that it seems to point at the positivist elements in habermas' communicative ethics - which i always dig.

link re: ricoeur's liberation hermeneutics sexy. is a bit like marcuse's "since we're unfree...". at most, i see barthes as doing a semantic marcuse.

* hyperpleased with democray now link! the haiti situation appears to be extremely hard to interpret properly. john reeves' article this month was especially telling to this end. reading between the lines has never been harder. hope nc is worming over this.


*pelagius a god damn hero! what courage it takes to spill the beans. pleased with 'fascist language' link although i think barthes is very much mistaken in his analysis - language is responsible for fascism in the same way as the body is responsible for illness! both my be integral, in the sense they are a necessary condition for both ills, but both are correctly understood as a corruption of the healthy state. language exists to enable our collective good, as the body exists to support life. language is a tool of liberation as much as an instrument of oppression. what matters is whether the way language is used makes us the subject or renders us the object.

Comte on postivism here and a catholic critique (which covers an interesting religious splinter group inspired by positivism) here.

*shit hot information on haiti available at democracy now

"The US lawyer representing the government of Haiti charged today that the US government is directly involved in a military coup attempt against the country’s democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ira Kurzban, the Miami-based attorney who has served as General Counsel to the Haitian government since 1991, said that the paramilitaries fighting to overthrow Aristide are being backed by Washington.

“I believe that this is a group that is armed by, trained by, and employed by the intelligence services of the United States,” Kurzban told the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!. “This is clearly a military operation, and it's a military coup.”

“There's enough indications from our point of view, at least from my point of view, that the United States certainly knew what was coming about two weeks before this military operation started,” Kurzban said. “ The United States made contingency plans for Guantanamo.”

If a direct US connection is proven, it will mark the second time in just over a decade that Washington has been involved in a coup in Haiti..."

also see Haiti Redux and Haiti - Insurrection in the Making

*big viva to clare short for pointing out a.) truth about yes, minister point about official secrets act b.) internal view of sanctity of international law rhetoric. too bad it will all be forgotten tomorrow... and by then we'll have secret trials prop. d blunkett. call me franco anyone? perhaps a 'home and gardens' spread or a museum to commemorate him?


really enjoying pelagius pointer - especially pleasing in connection with the augustinian revival of aristotelianism - proto-revolutionary in many ways (before the last dark ages!). somehow reminiscient of the prussian stirner reception by the old hegelians. are we already in the next darkness?

the "diminishing of man's responsibility", the lack of agency, is exactly what constructs about human nature aim to achieve. such a matter - thinking about it epistemically ie. in this case, aiming to be 'descriptively' objective about the essence of the subject - is not really simple-layered enough to be wholly understood by any positivist acceptance of the reasonable (it is a travesty in the history of ideas, enabling messrs. homo economicus or homo consumens).

nothing has ever changed in essence, fixation on meaning prevails. and whilst this has been pointed out in many ways, the reaction has occurred (suppose in this instance it's the aristotelian integration in roman christanity?); but the historical consequences have not been received as of yet. pelagius must have felt the same.
do we need leaders? only if we're naughty by nature which is why pelagius was condemned as a heretic for his commitment to the complete freedom and moral autonomy of man.

more links and finer details. Note how in last link, which is from the catholic encylopedia, is very thick on facts but very thin on the big picture... specifics of heretic beliefs informative however.
ungesunder samenstau

kant-article in spiegel was quite telling re: sexual moralism of our day and slag.. this part of "hailing kant as the german philosopher. new biographies would probably be wanting to update him a bit.

"it is not known that he had any (hetero-)sexual relations". although he had "close relations" to a male, he was "definetely not gay".. biographer so-and-so claims that he used to dine in a guesthouse where "prostitutes were available upstairs", this so as to say "our new philosopher of state wasn't totally impotent, he may have paid for some action". embarrassing. the alcohol presumably helped him over this. "stars in sky above and moral law within".. yawn.. if poor fucker was alive today, he'd be wanking to cosmopolitan bikini season "coverage"..
I thought we went through all this hundreds of years ago...

David Blunkett this week announced further proposals to combat the threat from al-Qaida terrorism, and remind us to stay forever fearful, so the government can bring more measures into suppress dissent and help direct billions of pounds of our money into the war machine. His plans include allowing bugging as evidence in terrorism cases and giving MI5 1,000 extra staff. A new, secret court would also be necessary to protect intelligence sources, including vetted judges and defence solicitors and to try suspects who they think might be up to no good.

Meanwhile 14 people have been imprisoned for the past two years without trial and without being charged thanks to the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. The Act bypasses European human rights legislation to allow the internment of foreign nationals on the say-so of the intelligence services. The same intelligent service that told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "I cannot believe that I am sitting here today to try and argue why it is wrong to detain human beings indefinitely without trial."
from schnews
allnight immanuel - it is kant anniversary year btw

"He has been famously portrayed as a bore, a man whose habits were so regular that housewives could set their watches by his legendary afternoon walk.

But according to three new biographies, the celebrated German philosopher Immanuel Kant was not such a dry stick after all. Far from being a dour Prussian ascetic, the great metaphysician was a partygoer. He enjoyed drinking wine, playing billiards and wearing fine, colourful clothes."
Free Adorno, Free Benjamin

The Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Culture, presided by Jan Philipp Reemtsma, has just advanced science and culture to a whole new level: Sebastian Luetgert, the founder of textz.com, is facing a warrant of arrest and may go to jail if he fails to pay more than 2,300 euros in damages for the alleged copying of two essays by Theodor W. Adorno that the foundation claims as their "intellectual property". Reemtsma was kindly asked to settle, but refused.

The case dates back to August 2002, when the foundation filed for a preliminary injunction against Luetgert at the Hamburg State Court, referring to the alleged distribution of two works by Theodor W. Adorno, "Jargon der Eigentlichkeit" and "Fascism and Anti-Semitic Propaganda". Since not a single e-mail was sent to notify textz.com of the matter, and since written notification failed to reach the defendant, textz.com only learned about the issue after a few days. The works in question were immediately removed from the site to avoid any further legal hassles.

In December 2003, Luetgert found himself confronted with a warrant of arrest, obtained against him by the Hamburg Foundation, citing unpaid claims related to the unauthorized copying of said works. In January 2004, Luetgert addressed the issue in a letter to Reemtsma and asked for a scholarship so he could pay this debt and avoid jail time. Reemtsma did not reply, but handed the letter over to his foundation's lawyers - Senfft, Kersten, Voss-Andreae & Schwenn - who insist on the payment of 2,331.32 Euros for alleged damages and legal fees.

Textz.com believes that an "intellectual proprietor" of Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin who claims to advance science and culture by sending people to jail for taking Adorno and Benjamin serious is seriously wrong on a whole number of points. The Hamburg Foundation undererstimates the resistance of their possessions against their legal protection just as much as their lawyers underestimate the ability of the Internet to route around damage. In the end, they may even be wrong in thinking that they will ever get their property back.

Today, in an open letter (http://textz.com/adorno/open_letter.txt), Reemtsma has been notified that his foundation's "intellectual property" has been returned to the public domain. This first-of-its-kind protest signals a refusal to let copyright holders and lawyers censor the very works they pretend to protect and control what the public can archive or read. There is a universal right to copy that will never cease to apply, and there is copyright legislation that will. We're just at the beginning. via mark woods

the work of art in the age of digital reproduction


noteable irish neighbour


Beer in Bangladesh amusing legal loophole

By Roland Buerk, BBC correspondent in Dhaka

The makers of the malt drinks say they are not breaking any laws, It looks like beer, it tastes like beer, but in law at least it is a malt beverage. A company in Bangladesh believes it has found a legal loophole to get around the Islamic country's ban on alcoholic drinks. But their discovery has created a furore among Islamic parties and the threat of legal action from at least one leading international brewer.


The Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay brought the plight of undocumented migrants in Britain into the spotlight. We were told how the unfortunate victims were trafficked and exploited by ruthless gangs of ‘snakeheads’. We solemnly frown when we hear how gang masters prey on the vulnerable victims of mafias. But these problems have wider and deeper causes.

The ‘illegal’ immigrants are vulnerable to exploitation precisely because of their (lack of) legal status. They have no rights, are terrified of being deported, and can’t go to the authorities for help. The government claims to be dealing with the ‘problem’, while the situation stays the same. So, who benefits from this crime and why is nothing done to change the situation?

Shock Horror... Benji rants on supermarkets and immigration from SchNEWS

also in SchNews this week, Haiti update, although you might be better off going to Haiti support group

Throttled by history Haiti's political class has failed it, but the first black republic has also been squeezed dry by a vengeful west

Gary Younge, for the Guardian, in Port-au-Prince, Monday February 23, 2004
and then there's a report leaked to the observer:

"A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world."

billmon doubts the integrity of the author, posing the question whether this is a new case of fearmongering in order to proliferate more dystopia:

"Some, such as investigative journalist Ken Silverstein, have described Marshall as little more than a "pork-seeking" missile, constantly dreaming up new threats to justify new weapons systems or defense spending programs. Even his supporters tend to portray him as a "professional worry wort" fascinated by extreme, low-probability scenarios. And the climate change report is just that: a scenario, not a forecast."
great find ray, thank you very much. have found what seems to be an alternative approach to the same effect as the hubbert peak - this paper by r. duncan, who introduced the olduvai theory, another malthusian vision of advanced industrial society.

"World energy production per capita from 1945 to 1973 grew at a breakneck speed of 3.45 %/year. Next from 1973 to the all-time peak in 1979, it slowed to a sluggish 0.64 %/year. Then suddenly —and for the first time in history — energy production per capita took a long-term decline of 0.33 %/year from 1979 to 1999. The Olduvai theory explains the 1979 peak and the subsequent decline. More to the point, it says that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value by 2030, thus giving Industrial Civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years.

Should this occur, any number of factors could be cited as the 'causes' of collapse. I believe, however, that the collapse will be strongly correlated with an 'epidemic' of permanent blackouts of high-voltage electric power networks — worldwide. Briefly explained: "When the electricity goes out, you are back in the Dark Age. And the Stone Age is just around the corner." (11/2000)


Peak Oil. This is something we've all heard about to one degree or another, and here is a site that does a pretty good job bringing lots of information together into an easy overview.
The author takes a pretty pessimistic look, but on the other hand, he does quote quite a few people in the Bush administration spouting an equally pessimistic look. In other words, even if you don't buy all the worst-cases on this site, they still are playing (or will play) a large role in world politics (whether the powers that be truly believe it all or just say they do).
Personally, I expect some bad shit to go down, but not quite as bad as outlined here. However, if we've got Bush&cohorts holding the reins as all this develops, I think my homeland has got a great shot at fascism...


Gegen Verführung

Lasst euch nicht verführen!
Es gibt keine Wiederkehr.
Der Tag steht in den Türen;
Ihr könnt schon Nachtwind spüren:
Es kommt kein Morgen mehr.

Lasst euch nicht betrügen
Dass Leben wenig ist.
Schlürft es in schnellen Zügen!
Es wird euch nicht genügen
Wenn ihr es lassen müsst!

Lasst euch nicht vertrösten!
Ihr habt nicht zu viel Zeit!
Lasst Moder den Erlösten!
Das Leben ist am größten:
Es steht nicht mehr bereit.

Lasst euch nicht verführen
Zu Fron und Ausgezehr!
Was kann euch Angst noch rühren?
Ihr sterbt mit allen Tieren
Und es kommt nichts hinterher.

B Brecht


What the hell is going on? The accounts of this raid are just... inexplicable. What is the army doing? Is it going mad? Is this all true? If it is, man, all we need is a little rape and this won't be turning into Vietnam, it'll already be there.


Corporate watch on George Bush and Democracy in the USA...
Typing 'voting machines USA' into the net will bring you up an array of exhaustive research, all of it backed up to the teeth, but still curiously toothless. It's as if the scandal is too big to really tackle; a giant tsunami of a scandal, which makes people just stand there helplessly waving, before they drown. The American people, reads the semaphore, are going to get George Bush in the next election, like it or not, because he is going to cheat

read more


Georgie rap from a funny article on znet about protest in India

The fact is with subliminal tactics
We establish hegemony across the atlas
Blow those who oppose us to dust and ashes
Oil - big business and cash is what the clash is
I follow my science and diabolical thesis
Blow you up and leave you with the pieces
I talk about freedom and good and evil in my speeches
The make believe increases
On a daily basis
My white TV faces
Disgrace the coloured races
And erases the traces
Like hushed up rape cases
I never knew shame
I'm way ahead in the game
The money and the fame
I can make you feel pain
Worse than a million migraine
I sold my soul
Now I reign supreme
Your worst nightmare is my American dream
I make the world burn like gasoline
It used to be
God save the queen
But now it is
God save America
From the KKK to the USA
God save America
From the CIA to the USA
God save America
From Baghdad to Bombay
God save America.
*I posted this chap's earlier article, which he refers to, last week and here is the latest from him on Haiti. You won't read this version of events anywhere else (god knows i've looked...);

"Not quite a year ago, after returning from Haiti, I wrote for Z-net, "the United States government is playing the same game as in Iraq - pushing for "regime change" in Haiti. Their strategy includes a massive disinformation campaign in U.S. media, an embargo on desperately needed foreign aid to Haiti, and direct support for violent elements, including former military officers and Duvalierists, who openly seek the overthrow of President Aristide." Events in Haiti today show how bloody the U.S. game has become."

*The queen is dead. long live the king singers;

"Bill Hicks was the funniest man in America. His blistering routines made trouble - and his death at the age of 32 made him a legend. As his complete works are published for the first time, Bill Bailey celebrates the life of an inspirational and provocative performer..."

this a a good article by a talented comic. Hicks anniversary party in london.


"10 years goat boy" articles begin pouring in:

On January 5, 1994 - against McGarr's wishes - Hicks did the eight o'clock show at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York. In her attempt to prevent Hicks from doing the gig, McGarr rang Donovan. "Colleen, Bill is ready to die. He just won't lie down," Donovan told her. She hung up on him. Hicks was about 30 minutes into his set when he looked up over the microphone and scanned the crowd. "Colleen, are you out there?" he said.

From the back of the room, McGarr called out, "Bill, I'm right here."

"I can't do this any more," he said.

McGarr rushed to the side of the stage. Hicks glanced over at her, paused, then put the mic back in its stand and stepped into the wings. It was his last performance.

On January 26, McGarr put Hicks on a plane to Little Rock. "Bill always wanted to die with his parents at their house in Little Rock," she says. "He wanted the circle complete - that was very important to him. Because he had been so estranged, he wanted everything back."


In the northern province of Santiago de Estero, Argentina, the local government has banned all types of public meetings that don’t have prior consent. Anyone not complying is subject to imprisonment between 1- 30 days or a fine of between 10-20 days pay.

The new law comes in response to demonstrations (all of which have been peaceful) and a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the brutal torturing and murder of two young girls by an ex-policeman. Witnesses in the case have received death threats from the governor of the province. It seems the local authorities and police are closing ranks to suppress protests against violence, corruption and impunity, a return to the bad old days for Argentina. indymedia argentina

Genoa fallout
All those arrested by the Italian police at the brutal raid on the Diaz school in Genoa following the anti-G8 protests in 2001 have had all their charges dropped. But there are still cases against 73 police involved in the raid, including senior officers, who are facing trial for slander, false arrest, assault, battery, and abuse of authority. italy indymedia

Yanks... got to love 'em really
A US man is suing a cable television company for making his wife fat and turning his two teenage children into “lazy channel surfers.” “I believe the reason that I smoke and drink every day and that my wife is overweight is because we watched TV everyday for the last four years,” he said in a written complaint.

Timothy Dumouchel told his TV company to stop his cable service in August 1999 – but four years later he was still getting it for free. So just before Christmas, Timothy paid a visit to the company’s offices, where workers said he intimidated them with “low level threats”. Timothy is now demanding $5,000 or three computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from the cable company in compensation for the suffering he has endured at the hands of cable television.



all you need to know

'The National Security Archive is today publishing an expanded collection of core documents relating to the Iraq WMD debate. This update, taken from U.S. and British sources that have become available in recent months, is part of the Archive's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook, first posted in December 2002 and updated in February 2003'

don't know whether you guys ever visit this site much, but a very good resource and forum for anarchism:


you may remember some time ago i posted on Perle and Frum's new neocon manifesto 'An End to Evil: How to Win the War On Terror'. Here is a particularly shocking and similarly hilarious look at some of the key themes and extracts that purvey this bizarre insight into the mindset of the current political ideologues who?s backward and shamefully weak analyse is possibly more offensive than other, more sophisticated, machiavellian, tyrannies that humanity has endured in recent history...from what i've read of it so far it doesn?t even appear to have the transparent guise of intellectualism or method that kagan?s paradise and power has...

"Let's begin with the neocon vision for America. As to be expected, F & P -- as I'll call them from hereupon, for the sake of brevity -- envision an authoritarian America, a nation of "zero tolerance" toward foreigners, outsiders, and those who do not embrace the predominant culture.

"For instance, victimless crime begets larger, more serious crime. "We ought to learn a lesson from the most effective anticrime program the United States has ever seen: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's crack down in New York," the pair write:

'Giuliani's core insight was this: People who break one law will break other laws. You want to catch a guy who's skipped out on a manslaughter arrest warrant? Stop every turnstile jumper and inspect his ID. You want to find the killer who left his fingerprints on a knife that stabbed a kid to death yesterday? Scan the fingerprints of everybody you catch smoking marijuana in the park today' (!)

"Notice how effortlessly F & P associate marijuana use with murder -- not simply garden-variety murder but rather heinous child murder. The assumption here is that people who smoke pot are more than likely guilty of other, far more serious crimes...

"Of course, F & P are not really interested in pot smokers, that is unless they are from Iran or Somalia. It's mostly Arabs, Afghans, Iranians, and Northern Africans the Bushites want to kick around.

In addition to Arabs, Muslims, and Africans with visas, the neocon duo believe antiwar demonstrators are dangerous. In fact, if I read these guys correctly, the First Amendment itself is dangerous:

'We may be so eager to protect the right to dissent that we lose sight of the difference between dissent and subversion'


F & P want to continue this legacy. Instead of going after "reds" like one of Ashcroft's predecessors, A. Mitchell Palmer (AG under Woodrow Wilson), they want the government to go after "terrorists," that is anybody who disagrees with them on US foreign policy.

Nor should we exclude the possibility that Islamic terrorism may begin to make common cause with Western political extremists of the far Left and far Right. Especially those on the Left...'

The rest of the article can be found here at counterpunch

Teachers ate cannabis cake... from ananova.com

Ten schoolteachers have been taken to hospital after eating a cake laced with cannabis.

It had been left in the staffroom of the Herder Grammar School in Lueneburg, Germany.

Staff said they were not suspicious of the cake because they had been running a scheme where students could leave cakes in the staff room.

Teachers would then leave donations if they liked the cake and the money went towards a children's charity in Chernobyl.

Teachers tucked into it during the lunchtime break, and it was only when almost all of the gateau had been eaten they started to feel ill.

Ten of the school's 65 teachers had to be taken to local hospital where doctors carried out drugs tests and confirmed they had consumed cannabis.

Local police said the cake is being examined by forensic experts.

"Al-Baradai warns of nuclear destruction";

"The head of the UN nuclear watchdog has warned that the spread of atomic weapons technology could lead to the world's destruction."


"In a clear jab at the US, which plans to forge ahead with research into the so-called mini nukes, Al-Baradai said the world must drop the idea that nuclear weapons are fine in the hands of some countries and bad in the hands of others.

"We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security - and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use," he said."
*Pieces by Richard Norton-Taylor and ex-intelligence officer Crispin Black;

"A recently retired intelligence officer says in the Guardian today that he finds it incredible that Tony Blair or his close advisers did not ask the crucial question about the 45-minute claim in the government's dossier on Iraq's weapons programme."


"He points out that there were meetings with no minutes; an intelligence analytical group on a highly specialised subject which included unqualified officials in Downing Street but excluded the defence intelligence staff's lifetime experts; vague and unexplained bits of intelligence appearing in the dossier as gospel; sloppy use of language; and a "weird 'last call' for intelligence like Henry II raving about Thomas Becket - but with 'who will furnish me with the intelligence I need' substituted for 'who will rid me of that turbulent priest'."

[also intriguing, a reference to a letter "Medical evidence does not support suicide by Kelly"....]

"A group of doctors also write in the Guardian today that they have continued doubts about Lord Hutton's verdict that the Iraq expert David Kelly committed suicide.

In a letter, six doctors, three more than wrote to the paper last month expressing doubts, say they remain convinced that it was "highly improbable" that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting his left wrist. "

Black's Beckett analogy rather apt. See rest of article here;

"I looked forward to Lord Hutton making some serious suggestions about how to keep the intelligence process free of political manipulation and analysts free from the preparation of propaganda dossiers. I thought he might help explain, too, why the intelligence community had been taken by surprise by the aftermath of victory in Iraq.

When the report came I was puzzled at first - serious people seemed to be taking it so seriously. And then everyone started to laugh. Some of the passages - particularly "the possibility cannot be completely ruled out that the desire of the prime minister ... may have subconsciously influenced ... members of the JIC ... consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC" are masterpieces of comic writing.

In two years as an intelligence officer, and four-and-a-half years as an analyst at the highest level, I never once heard the phrase "consistent with intelligence". It means nothing. "


Fuck Bush Postcards
Activist Simon Shaw was arrested in Edinburgh on 22nd March for displaying an upside-down US flag emblazoned with the words "Fuck Bush" and a swastika design.

The arresting officers said that Simon's flag was likely to "incite racial hatred" despite the message being aimed at George W. Bush and his administration and not the American people.

Mark Thomas has had copies of the flag produced as postcards and thinks it would be a good idea to send these postcards to the arresting officers (details below). Mark believes it is "just the police trying it on, trying to hassle demonstrators now the bombing has begun. I think its a ridiculous charge and the police should be shown that loads of people agree with that."

Download the postcard design, or get them at one of Mark's gigs, and send them off to:
PC Phillip Gachagan & PC Lawrence Mackintosh,
Lothian & Borders Police Station,
14 St. Leonards Street,

If you do send a postcard then let us know. We recommend using an envelope so they don't go straight into the bin.
Gangmaster registration campaign by the trades and general workers union


gender and reconstruction in Iraq...

V is for victory — and for vagina
Ross Clark, from the Srectator, wonders whether Iraqis would prefer clean water and electricity or Britain’s taxpayer-funded ‘gender advisers’

Following the successful liberation of their country from the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein, ordinary Iraqis are once more beginning to experience some of those things which we in the West take for granted: electricity, telephones, fresh running water and the likes of Deirdre Spart from the Haringey Women’s Collective. If there is still a lot of work to be done in establishing security in the country, one thing which isn’t being ignored is the agenda of Western feminists. Never mind that many women’s pressure groups were vociferous in their opposition to war in Iraq, and by implication would presumably prefer it were Saddam still in power, it hasn’t stopped them flying in to demand a place in the new Iraq.

In October, when Saddam had yet to be captured and attacks on American troops were growing by the day, the Department for International Development (DFID) spent £152,000 on two ‘gender advisers’ to go to Iraq on a six-month contract ‘to promote gender equality and diversity’. The department has withheld the identity of one of them ‘for security reasons’. The other is Mandana Hendessi, an Iranian-born women’s rights campaigner who cut her feminist teeth as a member of the Southall Black Sisters in the early 1980s. One of her proudest achievements was in joining the organisation’s efforts to disrupt a beauty pageant, an event in which a smokebomb was thrown. ‘This is one of the most important ways women are oppressed,’ she later wrote. ‘It is like having a cattle show and it must be stopped now.’

the rest of the article from the Spectator


Department of Trade and Industry. 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ,
TELEPHONE: 020-7276- 2555 FAX: 020-7276 2563,
E-MAIL: WNC@dti.gsi.gov.uk WEBSITE: www.thewnc.org.uk

Mr Boris Johnson MP
The Spectator
56 Doughty Street
London WC1N 2LL
2 February 2004


How disappointing that in your article of 17 January V is for Victory and for Vagina, Ross Clarke chose to criticise the work being done in Iraq to include the views and actions of Iraqi women in the reconstruction of their country.

The Spectator risks looking seriously old fashioned if it thinks democracy can be built without the involvement of women. The article accepts the legitimacy of Mandana Hendessi’s work in Baghdad on issues of domestic violence and honour killings, and then goes on to snigger and denigrate Iraqi women’s demands for a greater role in decision making structures.

It is not sensible to compare percentages of men and women in the UK Government. Here we are dealing with a structure long established and in which men have a very firm hold. Compare instead the current make up of the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament and you can see that a bit of positive action actually works. And why shouldn’t Iraqi women have these same aspirations.

Ross Clark sneers comfortably from his armchair while Mandana Hendessi risks her life in helping 56% of the Iraqi population have some say over their female futures.

Yours Sincerely,

Margaret Prosser
Women’s National Commission
Getting accurate information on what's shaking in Haiti is very difficult indeed. Some clues from reuters ("The government blames the opposition for the violence, and says it represents a small mulatto elite opposed to rule by the black majority." and "These guys have heavy weapons, weapons that even the police don't have," said Guy Delva, secretary general of the Association of Haitian Journalists.") but little substance really. Far away place of which we know little? There is, however, this prescient article on Haiti from Zmag, last March;

"What seems to be clear is that the United States government is playing the same game as in Iraq - pushing for "regime change" in Haiti. Their strategy includes a massive disinformation campaign in U.S. media, an embargo on desperately needed foreign aid to Haiti, and direct support for violent elements, including former military officers and Duvalierists, who openly seek the overthrow of President Aristide. What is more surprising is Canada's role...."


"Every Haitian baby knows the game Bush is playing." The game he's playing in Haiti is "low intensity warfare."


"Recently, independent journalists and neutral political leaders, like Ben Dupuy of the respected Haiti Progres, have pointed to evidence that some opposition elements are preparing a coup d'etat. Since these groups are financed by U.S. interests, they must believe the U.S. would tacitly support such action. It means the U.S. government blocks $500 million in international aid (for water, health, education and roads) depriving the state of sixty percent of its budget."


"There are indications things are getting worse - as the US blocks aid, as corporations refuse to invest, as the elite removes its money from banks to create panic. Unemployment remains at 60%. Prices for basic foods and gas are skyrocketing. The national currency (the gourde) has plummeted from 15 to 45 to the U.S. dollar. The government gets the blame for this, though it is part of a world-wide economic disaster. (The peso in neighboring Dominican Republic has also dipped drastically.)"


"Although claims are made that journalists are unable to function freely in Haiti because of political violence, there are far more daily and weekly newspapers and strident, popular radio stations than one could imagine in the US or Canada. Many of them are shrill critics of the government. In media financed by elite business interests, there are constant cries for the overthrow of the government - something that would never be allowed by Washington, and probably not by Ottawa."


Of Paradise And Power by Howard Zinn

A review of Robert "Dip Shit" Kagan's masterpiece...


*Britain spied on UN allies over war vote;

"Security Council members 'illegally targeted' by GCHQ after plea from US security agency"


"The Observer has discovered that a GCHQ translator, Katherine Gun, 29, who faces trial after leaking details of the US request, was hired by the surveillance centre as a Chinese language specialist. Documents of this level of secrecy are circulated on a strict 'need-to-know' basis. Security experts have said that it is highly unlikely that someone as junior as Gun would have seen the memo had she not been expected to use her language expertise in the operation.

She is thought to be an expert translator of Mandarin, the language of Chinese officialdom.

The memo, dated 31 January, 2003, stated that the security agency wanted to gather 'the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises'."

"The Official Secrets Act is not to protect secrets, it is to protect officials." (see picture below)

*Ex-nuke chief berates 'war salesman' Blair

"The former UN chief weapons inspector has claimed the British government dramatised the power of Iraq's alleged pre-war arsenal of illegal weaponry. Hans Blix singled out Prime Minister Tony Blair for particular criticism, saying he had behaved like a "vendor with some merchandise" in promoting government support for the US-led invasion and occupation."


"However [being a spineless bureaurcrat], the former Swedish diplomat concluded neither Blair nor US President George Bush acted in bad faith, but blamed "information management".


Zapatista update.... on the inquiry

Auf, bade, Schüler, unverdrossen,
Die ird'sche Brust im Morgenrot.


Die Wahrheit selbst besteht in nichts anderem als in dem Offenbaren seiner selbst, und dazu gehört das Auffinden seiner selbst, die Befreiung von allem Fremden, die äusserste Abstraktion oder Entledigung von aller Autorität, die wiedergewonnene Naivität. Solche durchaus wahren Menschen liefert die Schule nicht; wenn sie dennoch da sind, so sind sie es trotz der Schule. Diese macht uns wohl zu Herren über die Dinge, allenfalls auch zu Herren über unsere Natur; zu freien Naturen macht sie uns nicht. Kein noch so gründliches und ausgebreitetes Wissen, kein Witz und Scharfsinn, keine dialektische Feinheit bewahrt uns vor der Gemeinheit des Denkens und Wollens.

Nur ein formelles und materielles Abrichten wird bezweckt, und nur Gelehrte gehen aus den Menagerien der Humanisten, nur »brauchbare Bürger« aus denen der Realisten hervor, die doch beide nichts als unterwürfige Menschen sind. Unser guter Fond von Ungezogenheit wird gewaltsam erstickt und mit ihm die Entwicklung des Wissens zum freien Willen. Resultat des Schullebens ist dann das Philistertum. Wie wir uns in der Kindheit in alles zu finden gewöhnten, was uns aufgegeben wurde, so finden und schicken wir uns später ins positive Leben, schicken uns in die Zeit, werden ihre Knechte und sogenannte gute Bürger.
Shame and Guilt

We recently wrote a fragment on the negative dialectic of freedom in the positivist world of appearances, essentially an appropriation of the Frankfurt School's bashing of positivism we've all come to appreciate so much. After the usual historical outline of the emergence of institutional ideology via positive philosophy, we introduced the notion of "shame" and "guilt" ("bürgerliche Scham") to account for the refusal to perceive and act beyond the phenomenal cage of the merely given. In addition, we made use of Freire's treatment of the master-slave dialectic to highlight the layers of alienation through prescribed ideals, clouding the minds of both oppressor and oppressed. In "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" he writes:

"But almost always, during the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors [...]. The very structure of their thought has been conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by which they were shaped. Their ideal is to be men; but for them, to be men is to be oppressors. This is their model of humanity [...] at a certain moment [they] adopt an attitude of "adhesion" to the oppressor. Under these circumstances they cannot "consider" him sufficiently clearly to objectivize him - to discover him "outside" themselves."

What seems to be happening in the epistemic outlook of the oppressed, in terms of the master-slave construct, is a positive acceptance of the ideological conceit which has put him in this situation. The slave is not able to think of himself beyond the positive institution, wherein the notion of freedom can't be critically reflected upon. Thus the slave has no desire to be free, instead, his only ideal in life is to be a master himself. He equates "Freedom" with "the power to oppress", via property and consumption. This equation of freedom seems to be widespread in advanced industrial society. Added to that, there is again the notion of "shame", corrupting the notion of freedom. Ashamed to belong to an inferior class, the slave wants to escape his self-hatred and bathe in the illusionary freedom of consumption. As an allegory: ashamed to drive a beat up vehicle, the corporate slave wants to escape his sorrow state by buying an SUV after promotion.

A first look: two emotions, "shame" and "guilt" seem to prevail here. An early intuition points to the christian ethic. Also a useful feel, the categorical imperative in the sense of normative pressures, and Weberian rationalization in the sense of these emotional responses deriving their power from a certain degree of "Zweckrationalität". "Guilt" seems to imply a juidicial framework, or at least a situation of collective morality (christianity for example), where the subject is "guilty" of something he should be "ashamed" of. In the sense of these thoughts, we will try and have a look at these two notions, isolate them lexically, and take a look at their mechanisms in situations of ius and ethica. Given the constitutional importance of Kantian moral philosophy, at least in continental Europe, we feel that the contractual nature of his philosophy as derived from reason apriori, is most interesting when trying to expose instances of functional rationality in the positive instititutional sphere, which is fundamentally Kantian in terms of descriptive method or normative structure. In this sense, Kant ought to be regarded as the first positivist, with Hegel's Philosophy of Right exposing the instrumentality of reason itself ("was vernünftig ist, ist wirklich und was wirklich ist, ist vernünftig"), making this, yet again, a rich junction in the history of ideas. So, well aware of the monumental difficulty and scope of such an outline: by inserting this problematic in a Kantian framework we hope for a Hegelian "Aufhebung", which will enable us to talk about the extent to which the notions of "shame" and "guilt" contribute to the ideological encagement of the knowing subject in the epistemic authoritarianism of positivist ideology today.

Freie Liebe - Geschichte: Die 60er bis 90er Jahre

"1933 wurde der öffentliche Diskurs um die "freie Liebe" abrupt gestoppt. Die Pest des Nationalsozialismus breitete sich epidemienhaft aus und machte alle freiheitlichen Errungenschaften rigide zunichte. Somit werden auch die letzten Reste der noch bestehenden Bohème und Kommune-Lebensformen ab 1933 vom nationalsozialistischen Regime liquidiert. Hand in Hand mit der katholischen Kirche wird der Zusammenhang zwischen Ehe, Sexualität und Fortpflanzung mittels der nationalsozialistischen Ideologie zusammengeschweißt:

'Zum Geleit! Die Ehe kann nicht Selbstzweck sein, sondern muß dem einen größeren Ziele, der Vermehrung und Erhaltung der Art und Rasse, dienen.' A Hitler"

und weiter so bis heute..

Rainer Langhans scheint sich zum Mönch gewandelt zu haben. Mit seinen 57 Jahren hat er nichts von der einstigen Haarpracht eingebüßt. Er trägt immer noch Nickelbrille und hüllt sich seit Jahren nur noch in weiße indische Gewänder. Er hat nie sein Studium beendet, nie geheiratet, nie ein Auto besessen, nie ein Kind gezeugt, und schon gar nicht ist er je einem geregelten Beruf nachgegangen. Das ist ihm anzusehen. Gesund schaut er aus.

der tagesablauf der kommune in den jahren 70 und 71 besteht aus: sich lustig machen über aktuelle highlights der wichtelgesellschaft, übelste manifeste entwerfen, dreharbeiten für aktionsfilme, herstellen von agitationsmaterial, fotomappen und siebdrucken, tourneen organisieren, partys zu musik von jimi hendrix, langen gesprächen über kunst, psychoanalyse, wilhelm reich, sexualität, anarchismus und die zukünftige kommunengesellschaft.

Horla-Kommune Köln... Wilhelm Reich, einer der letzten großen umfassenden Theoretiker dieses Jahrhunderts (1897-1957) bezeichnete den Kern jeglicher wirklichen Kulturrevolution als "Die Sexuelle Revolution."

Dieser Theorie liegt zu Grunde, daß der wirkliche produktive seelische Faktor, den Freud die Libido nannte, in der christlich abendländischen Kultur unterdrückt ist und sich als ein neurotischer- kranker Kulturkomplex umsetzt, in dessen Zentrum das Sammeln ökonomischer Besitztümer steht. Jedoch nur für wenige, die anderen gehen leer aus. Die Sexualität und der damit verbundene psychische Apparat werden dieser Funktion untergeordnet und ermöglichen erst mittels ihrer Deformation diesen Prozess.

Charakterlich sind die Menschen nun von ihrer Natur entfremdet und entwickeln statt sozialer Potenz Neurosen. Sie fühlen sich schwach und schließen sich gerne Führern an, die sie mystisch verehren und die ihnen ein ideologisches wie praktisches Ventil für ihren unterdrückten Sadismus anbieten.


Calling for a full inquiry;

Our World Our Say

I'd urge UK people to have a crack at lobbying for this asap, it may just produce an interesting outcome

On the same theme, Tony was vigourously heckled by protestors today, shouting "Whitewash!, Whitewash!" for some reason...
hey mike.. appears i just about missed you on msn

vielleicht haben die faschisten ja mauthner-gesellschaft abgeschossen! habe eine volle version (12mb) auf CD- also keine sorgen um die kinder der zukunft! "children of a future age" j. morrison prob borrowed this here:

"In ihm [dem Kind] wird ein "inneres Jenseits" aufgerichtet, eine inkorporierte Welt von fixen Ideen, die es zunächst nicht auflösen darf und schließlich nicht mehr auflösen kann, denn wem einmal die Moral eingeprägt wurde, der kommt niemals wieder frei."


Kennedy: new inquiry is unacceptable, Tom Happold and agencies, Tuesday February 3, 2004

The Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, has branded the government's inquiry into the intelligence build-up to the Iraq war "unacceptable". Explaining why his party is refusing to cooperate with the inquiry, Mr Kennedy attacked its narrow remit and predicted that it would not command public support.

'Trade liberty for safety or money and you'll end up with neither. Liberty, like a grain of salt, easily dissolves.
The power of questioning -- not simply believing -- has no friends. Yet liberty depends on it'

Swans - a brilliant website that’s well worth checking out.

this month they've released a special on Iraq that’s been three month in the making: 'RESISTANCE: IN THE EYE OF THE AMERICAN HEGEMON' - with some remarkable people contributing...



Man Ray, Portrait imaginaire de Sade (1938)

"I am about to put foward some major ideas; they will be heard and pondered. If not all of them please, surely a few will; in some sort, then, I shall have contributed to the progress of our age, and shall be content."
Reason A libertarian print mag, with limited content on the web. Just a handy link, I haven't really explored it yet...
Zur Negativen Dialektik der Freiheit im Positiven Destillat der Bürgerlichen Konsumgesellschaft - Man denke nach, über den zeitgenössischen Status der Philosophie. Wie wunderlich: einst als Königin aller Wissensbereiche die Erkenntnis an sich untersuchend, nun als nutzlose Reflexion des Bestehenden zur Irrelevanz verkümmert. Es ist als ob die Frage vor allem Fragen - was denn Erkenntnis sei - im modernen Geist sich nicht länger entfalten kann. Vom langen Schatten der Vernunft ins Obskure getrieben, wurde sie im Schein des Zwecks zum mittellosen Artefakt des Vergangenen verdammt. An dunkle Kindheitsgefühle etwa, erinnern die gedanklichen Pfade noch, die man als erwachsener Bürger zu bewandern keine Zeit mehr hat, und dessen wunderbare Aussichten der vom Schein des Zwecks geblendete nicht zu sehen vermag. Dem mystisch anmutenden Gefühl der kindlichen Vertrautheit zum Trotz, nimmt diese Dimension des Gedachten, als ein begrifflich Fremdes, pathologischen Charakter an. Kindisch nennt man die Adoleszenz, dessen gedankliche Freiheit sich noch zu artikulieren vermag. Selbst Nietzsche’s Subjekt war ein Irrer, der den Tod Gottes proklamierend, die neue Freiheit zum Ausdruck brachte.
Man möge jedoch, aufgrund des beschränkten Nutzens jenseits scheinbarer Notwendigkeiten, ein gewisses Verständnis für die Eliminierung der Reflexion und den Vorrang des Zweckhaften aufbringen. Denn in der Welt der Erscheinungen ist es nur allzu leicht, den Unterschied zwischen Gedachtem und Wirklichem undifferenziert zu übersehen. Nur allzu schnell zieht der „gute“ Mensch um seiner bürgerlichen Scham willen, das Bestehende als Inbegriff der Vernunft dem Leben als erkennendes, freies Subjekt vor. Diese Tendenz, die Tatsachen vor das Denken zu stellen ist allgegenwärtig, wohl sogar der philosophische Ursprung allen Unrechts: die Unterwerfung des erkennenden Subjekts vor der Autorität des positiv Gegebenen ist die Basis jeglicher Herrschaft.
Als herrschaftsbezweckende Methode und durch ihre wissenschaftstheoretischen und formal-logischen Grundannahmen, steht der Philosophie des Positiven im Sinne Comte’s, hieraus betrachtet und über hundert Jahre später, gerade noch die Funktion eines Legitimationsgeräts seiner bisweilig aufgestapelten Erkenntnisprodukte zu. Trotz Induktionsproblematik heute als objektive Sozialforschung bekannt, und so die ihr zentrale Zweckrationalität methodisch vertuschend, erzeugt sie den Schein der Ideologie und degradiert die Wirklichkeit zur Utopie. Als Staatsphilosophie erkauft sie sich schliesslich institutionelle Autorität: was nach naturwissenschaftlichem Positivismus als Beherrschung der Natur durch Technologie und Markt im Kapitalismus endete, bereitet nach seiner sozialwissenschaftlichen Integration, als Beherrschung des Menschen durch Ideologie und Konsum, dem Faschismus den Weg.
Wie weit der ideologische Schein die Wirklichkeit schon verklärt hat, liegt an der negativen Philosophie zu beurteilen, die zugleich vom Positiven, als dessen Negativ zwar verdrängt, so jedoch mit kritischem Moment gespeist wurde. Reflexion über die Wirklichkeit kann in der heutigen, positiv abstrahierten Gesellschaft also nur über den Pfad der Kritik erzeugt werden. Als negative Dialektik ist es ihre Aufgabe die Wahrheit mit der Wirklichkeit zu vereinen. Mit der Befreiung des erkennenden Subjekts auf ideologischer und der Aufhebung gesellschaftlichen Unrechts auf tatsächlicher Ebene, ist der Bestimmungsgrund der negativen Dialektik einzig und allein die Liebe zur Freiheit. Frei das Bestehende hinterfragen und den Schein bezweifeln: auch die Negation ist Bestandteil der Wirklichkeit, der dialektische Motor der Totalität, der das Sein im Anspruch auf das Ganze zum Werdenden befreit. Unaufhörlich nach Wahrheit strebend, zeigt sich in der negativen Philosophie der neue Mensch, mit dunklen Zügen das Reich der Freiheit andeutend. Die Tradition des Hegelmarxismus, von Hegel selbst bis zu Adorno, steht also weiterhin zur Appropriation bereit. Relevanz geben kann ihr jedoch nur das revolutionäre Subjekt - das aus dem Schlummer des Erkanntwerdens zur Emanzipation erwachende Individuum, seinem Erkennen sich bewusst, dem erkenntnistheoretischen Faschismus positiver Ideologie misstrauend.
Kaum mehr wunderlich ist sie nun, die scheinbare Irrelevanz philosophischer Praxis und dessen befreiende Kunst der Negation. Denn der kleine Bürger darf und will davon nichts wissen. Irrational wirkt sie, die Totale. Unverständlich ist ihm der künstlerische Akt des Revolutionären. Sprachlich mit moralischem Wert verschmutzt, konnotiert die kritische Negation das Schlechte, das Negative. Angstbefangen und schwitzend flüchtet sich manch ein Ausbrecher, wie ein Tier von Scham und Schuld gejagt, in die Institution zurück. Ja, strebt sogar um Aufnahme ins positive Vakuum des Nihilismus. Immerfort seine Erniedrigung anstrebend, ist die Subordination das einzige woran er sich zu orientieren weiss. Denn Scham und Schuld - sie sind die geistigen Waffen der Unterdrückung. Das vorbürgerliche Subjekt, das im jungen Alter nach kurzem Aufbäumen etwa, intuitiv die Freiheit fühlend, durch die Scham seiner Unausdrückbarkeit in das Bestehende assimiliert wird, ist nach seiner bürgerlichen Entfremdung kaum mehr als eine ästhetisch verwerfliche Projektion vorherrschender Machtverhältnisse. Im Schein materieller Glückseligkeit dem Werbeblock entfliehend, klammert sich der Bürger als Reflexion arbiträrer Tatsachen an seine Unschuld.
Freiheit ist für den Bürger eine Idee des Zwecklosen geworden. Nur noch in konsumwählerischer Hinsicht anwendbar, ist sie als Metapher mittlerweile bedeutungslos: nicht mit nackter Freiheit möchte sich der Bürger beschämen, sondern selbst sich der überflüssigen Produkte der Mächtigen bedienen. Wie Freire schon zur Dialektik des Meisters und Sklaven bemerkte, möchte der Sklave nicht frei sondern selbst Meister sein. Hiermit drückt er trefflich die beidseitige, nur durch positivistischen Fehlschluss ermöglichte Entfremdung aus. Als Unterdrücker und Unterdrückter zugleich, wird dem Bürger in der Freiheitsdialektik durch das Positive der Spiegel entzogen, und er erstarrt als unmittelbare Produktivkraft, als Teil der gesellschaftlichen Fabrik, ohne sich selbst als solches zu begreifen. Sich in der illusorischen Freiheit des Konsums wälzend, mit neuen, immer pragmatischer werdenden institutionellen „ismen“ seine Unschuld waschend (die neoliberale Angeblichkeit des Lächerlichen etwa), sieht er keine Kausalität und wo doch, kein Unrecht zwischen seinem Reichtum, dem noch grösseren Reichtum seines Vorgesetzten oder gar der Armut anderer. Denn dazu müsste er erst seine eigene Unfreiheit erkennen – eine Idee die ihm das positiv Bestehende, als Ausdruck menschlicher Vernunft schlechthin, zu denken unmöglich machen will.