SchNEWS, the Brighton-based direct action newsletter, will be celebrating its tenth birthday on SATURDAY 16th OCTOBER 2004 in LONDON with
a launch of SCHNEWS AT TEN - THE BOOK. Ten years of get-of-your-arse direct action all in ones book
a MASSIVE PARTY in south London
a DIRECT ACTION CONFERENCE AND BOOK LAUNCH
Also ... Russian SchNEWS is now online!, SchNEWS Korea? could you translate this one SJ?
Labour Party Love in coming to Brighton next week - see schnews on friday or this months private eye for details.
The Labour Party conference in Brighton includes several exciting fringe meetings. It will be difficult to tell if it’s Labour who are flirting with the corporations by letting them come to their annual love in, or the flashy wide boys from big business paying for all the drinks and trying their latest chat up lines on Neo Labour MPs.
The greenwashed, the bad and the ugly from the corporate world are queuing up to pay the estimated £1500 cost of organising a fringe meeting. Other less wealthy organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports struggle to pay the costs.
Leading neo-liberal think tank, the Social Market Foundation and the Blairite Institute for Public Policy Research are organizing a programme of fringe talks. Most of them are sponsored by a commercial organization that has a direct interest in the subject being discussed. In return a representative of the sponsor sits on the discussion panel.
For example, a talk on Tuesday 28th September, titled "Gambling, regeneration, and social responsibility: can everyone be a winner?" is sponsored by Sun International, a corporation that operates a number of casino resorts in Southern Africa. Peter Byrne, its executive director, has a seat on the discussion panel. The panel includes no representatives from anti-gambling organizations, or organizations involved in treating gambling dependency.
The 'fringe' tag is somewhat misleading, as 14 out of the 18 talks feature a serving Minister of State. The SMF programme of talks appears to be very much at the centre of the Blairite conference agenda, rather than at the fringe.
Other highlights include Health minister John Hutton addressing the question “Can the private sector deliver public good for the NHS?”. While you’re thinking about the answer to that one, remember that the meeting is paid for by Capio, a Swedish Health firm who received a £210 million contract from the NHS recently and the Capio President will also speak at the meeting. So the answer is ‘yes’ before it has even been discussed.
All the meetings are sponsored by well meaning corporations with no hidden agendas whatsoever. A meeting on Transport featuring transport secretary Alaistair Darling is sponsored by train company the Go Ahead Group. The housing minister Keith Hill will be speaking at a meeting about housing the “have nots” which is sponsored by the British Property Federation – representing the kindly developers who always have the best wishes of the homeless and “have-nots” at heart.
The two events that feature Home Secretary David Blunkett are notable because both are sponsored by recipients of contracts issued by Blunkett’s Home Office. Siemens Business Services, which is sponsoring an interesting meeting called “Who do we think we are? Identity diversity and citizenship”, is a specialist in identity card technologies and could benefit hugely from the future introduction of a national identity card scheme, which is Blunkett’s personal wet dream at the moment.
The plan is clear, those dirty little neo labour sluts will wallow in corporate sponsored champagne and canape seductions, untill the greedhead perverts have their wicked way with them.
The only meeting where there was no clear agenda was one sponsored by The British Nuclear Group titled “Think While you Drink” – we hopeThe British Nuclear Group does not have a drink problem and that Neo Labour MP think a bit and are able to see through the obvious corporate agenda at their little party.
SchNEWS interviews Chomsky
habermas (kant2k) certainly appropriates kantian illusions in his supranational dreaming/militant humanism. even though we may assume that it's philosophically sounder than say kagan's twisting of hobbes, i can't see how ignoring 1804-2004 should be less elusive. after all the two seem diametrically opposed within the same rotten discourse.
re: last days of disco
looking at influence of industrial capital on wwI project (cf kühnl), i've concluded along similar lines. industrialist round table at the time indicated that eastern europe was to be had etc. [1914!]- elite supported hitler! aristocrats effectively provided military power which was a seperate branch under the odd constitution of the weimar republic. hitler was no true achiever and certainly not one "against all odds"..
a.h. was the first true tony in that the ruling classes imposed a more covert type of agency, the popular leader, which was to integrate egalitarian discourse of the 1930s with the neo-feudal ambitions of the ruling bunch within the new job of the schizophrenic managerial type. this cocksucker is enthroned as an effective buffer between hard-working protestants w liberal illusions on the one hand and the anonymous force of the capital rentier on the other.
hitler was selected from a bunch of radical demagogues at the time in much the same way any banana republic wants a cia-selected puppet-'elect'. mystifying hitler as being 'strongest brand evil ever' is like saying tony is special in any way.. hating your supposedly benevolent administrator is nothing but grateful servitude to the system. hate him all you like, kill him even. there are plenty more mediocre lawyers around.
wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for fact that kershaw is probably the best biographer of AH i've read... fuck...
"Does it help us to understand Hitler any better? My own feeling is that, brilliant though the portrayal is, it does not. It is hard to see how it could - or, indeed, what great enlightenment it would bring if we did know him better (whatever that means). Would we then have a clearer grasp of his hold over the German people, or why so many intelligent individuals in positions of authority were prepared to put his wishes into practice? At any rate, no amount of intuitive acting is likely to make him any more intelligible to audiences which cannot possibly enter his warped mentality. His life has been scrutinised as scarcely no one else's, but an inner core is still unfathomable. Hitler will always remain in some senses an enigma."
is encouraging since the apparent uniqueness/central enigma/fuhrerkontakt magick/whatever of AH distracts and clouds the issue of the collective will manifested - and the parallels between the same ignorance of collective responsibility then and now - sound as if they remain elusive.
i don't think AH's mentality was more fundamentally warped than GWB or kissinger or macnamara and the many others who've waged aggressive wars without regard for civilian life. that doesn't mean he wasn't a less moral and more cupable individual than the others - but distinguishing in kind between a man who kills 1,000-10,000 people and between a man who kills 1,000,000,000-10,000,000 seems to me to be missing the point. the institutions and mechanisms that made possible these crimes are virtually continuous and lessons have been drawn from one generation of tyrants to the next - as to the fine tuning of urban combat, "counter"-terror (a phrase coined by the nazis), reliable rather than purely sadistic torture techniques (many of which are legal and admissible under UK and US law) and how to sell wars to their pliant, suppressed and enslaved populations.
whether the mechanism is used to murder 30,000 iraqi civilians or 6,000,000 plus jews, communists, gays and other regime enemies
(potential "enemy combatants" if you like, in the sense that they are categorised so as to be in some sense sub-human, note AH on jews and cheney on "terrorists". in both circumstances the non-believers are to be killed, since they are apparently impossible to negotiate with since they are sub-rational and hence sub-human 'fanatics' - pot kettle anyone? - on the one hand and criminal parasites on the other, always sub-human, always a threat)
to point to one crime and call it worse is trivially true - but both crimes are of a such a horrific magnitude that one cannot emotionally fathom their relative scale.
is the correct response to simply deem one crime beyond comprehension and thus one that cannot be sensibly discussed (cf. finkelstein) or to look at the construction of these crimes and the complicity of many thousands of apparently blameless folk going about their lives making barbed wire, guarding doors, couriering orders about BUT NEVER QUESTIONING OR THINKING FOR THEMSELVES.
the parallels between the type of society where industrial war slaughter takes place and not between the relative scale of various industrial war massacres is going to tell us something useful about how and why these events do and are able to occur. mitigating responsibility for the events that occured from the collective to some exhaulted and now denounced tyrant is part and parcel of the process where responsibility for oneself in the world, and one's actions, is subjugated to such snake oil salesmen in the first instance.
Vernunft sei überall zugegen,
Wo Leben sich des Lebens freut.
Dann ist Vergangenheit beständig,
Das Künftige voraus lebendige
Der Augenblick ist Ewigkeit.
Und war es endlich dir gelungen,
Und bist du vom Gefühl durchdrungen:
Was fruchtbar ist, allein ist wahr
Du prüfst das allgemeine Walten,
Es wird nach seiner Weise schalten,
Geselle dich zur kleinsten Schar.
Und wie von alters her, im stillen,
Ein Liebewerk nach eignem Willen
Der Philosoph, der Dichter schuf,
So wirst du schönste Gunst erzielen:
Denn edlen Seelen vorzufühlen
Ist wünschenswertester Beruf.
goethe, kein wesen kann zu nix verfallen
Thatcher bids to avoid court quiz Associated Press, Monday September 13, 2004
Lawyers for Sir Mark Thatcher are taking steps to prevent him from answering questions under oath about his alleged involvement in a failed coup plot in Equatorial Guinea, one of his senior legal representatives said today.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior member of Sir Mark's defence team said an application had been forwarded to the Cape high court to set aside the subpoena requiring him to appear in court later this month.
Sir Mark, son of the former prime minister Lady Thatcher, was served with a subpoena last week after a request from the attorney general's office in Equatorial Guinea to question him about his alleged financing of a foiled coup attempt in the oil-rich west African country.
The lawyer said the matter would be brought before the court on Tuesday September 21 - one day before Sir Mark is required to appear in the Wynberg magistrates court to face questioning.
"We believe the subpoena is an infringement on Mr Thatcher's right to a fair trial in South Africa," he said.
Ich hab mein Sach auf Nichts gestellt
Drum ist's so wohl mir in der Welt.
Und wer will mein Kamerade sein,
Der stoße mit an, der stimme mit ein
Bei dieser Neige Wein.
Ich stellt mein Sach auf Geld und Gut.
Darüber verlor ich Freud und Mut.
Die Münze rollte hier und dort,
Und hascht ich sie an einem Ort,
Am andern war sie fort.
Auf Weiber stellt ich nun mein Sach.
Daher mir kam viel Ungemach.
Die Falsche sucht' sich ein ander Teil,
Die Treue macht' mir Langeweil:
Die Beste war nicht feil.
Ich stellt mein Sach auf Reis' und Fahrt.
Und ließ meine Vaterlandesart.
Und mir behagt' es nirgends recht,
Die Kost war fremd, das Bett war schlecht,
Niemand verstand mich recht.
Ich stellt mein Sach auf Ruhm und Ehr.
Und sieh! gleich hatt ein andrer mehr.
Wie ich mich hatt hervorgetan,
Da sahen die Leute scheel mich an,
Hatte keinem recht getan.
Ich setzt mein Sach auf Kampf und Krieg.
Und uns gelang so mancher Sieg.
Wir zogen in Feindes Land hinein,
Dem Freunde sollt's nicht viel besser sein,
Und ich verlor ein Bein.
Nun hab ich mein Sach auf Nichts gestellt.
Und mein gehört die ganze Welt.
Zu Ende geht nun Sang und Schmaus.
Nur trinkt mir alle Neigen aus;
Die letzte muß heraus!
goethe 1806. ein trinklied.
But whereas Feuerbach thought himself advancing by discovering Hegel's Geist to be God rationalized, and God to be Man alienated, Stirner drew another conclusion. Rather than advancing, Feuerbach had merely stumbled, and now looked up devoutly to another theophany, Man. To Stirner it really made very little difference whether the holy be called Geist, God, Man, or State, for the posture of all believers was the same [spineless].
"Das Kind war realistisch in den Dingen dieser Welt befangen, bis ihm nach und nach hinter eben diesen Dingen zu kommen gelang. Der Jüngling war idealistisch, von dem Gedanken begeistert, bis er sich zum Manne hinaufgearbeitet, dem egoistischen, der mit den Dingen und Gedanken nach Herzenslust gebart und sein persönliches Interesse über Alles setzt. Endlich der Greis? Wenn ich einer werde, so ist noch Zeit genug, davon zu sprechen."
They're in revolt against an autocracy that denies them individual freedom in the name of fossilised abstractions: Obedience, Team Spirit, Tradition, Duty. "When do we live?" Mick Travis asks. "That's what I want to know." They first start to live by celebrating erotic freedom (Mick's affair with a local waitress, Wallace's romance with a junior boy), and finally erupt in furious, orgasmic liberation on Founders Day.
This final transition from fantasy to reality suggests that the revolution is doomed to failure, but a failure that's also a warning.
"Horkheimer and Adorno offered not simply the critique of some prior historical moment in time, but of all human development. This made it possible to identify enlightenment not with progress, as the philistine bourgeois might like to believe, but rather—unwittingly—with barbarism, Auschwitz, and what is still often called “the totally administered society.”
Such is the picture painted by Dialectic of Enlightenment. But it should not be forgotten that its authors were concerned with criticizing enlightenment generally, and the historical epoch known as the Enlightenment in particular, from the standpoint of enlightenment itself: thus the title of the work. Their masterpiece was actually “intended to prepare the way for a positive notion of enlightenment, which will release it from entanglement in blind domination.”4 Later, in fact, Horkheimer and Adorno even talked about writing a sequel that would have carried a title like “Rescuing the Enlightenment” (Rettung der Aufklärung).5 This reclamation project was never completed, and much time has been spent speculating about why it wasn’t. The reason, I believe, is that the logic of their argument ultimately left them with little positive to say. Viewing instrumental rationality as equivalent with the rationality of domination, and this rationality with an increasingly seamless bureaucratic order, no room existed any longer for a concrete or effective political form of opposition: Horkheimer would thus ultimately embrace a quasi-religious “yearning for the totally other” while Adorno became interested in a form of aesthetic resistance grounded in “negative dialectics.” Their great work initiated a radical change in critical theory, but its metaphysical subjectivism surrendered any systematic concern with social movements and political institutions. Neither of them ever genuinely appreciated the democratic inheritance of the Enlightenment and thus, not only did they render critique independent of its philosophical foundations,6 but also of any practical interest it might serve."
The insufficiencies of Adorno/Horkheimer in terms of social and political action are well understood. Indeed one could say that they haven't got further than what Marx referred to as "sensuous human activity, practice" in his Feuerbach theses. To the current generation of critical theorists this points to the requirement of a categorical frame of analysis, which doesn't merely describe social power structures, but also contains a normative aspect about the social processes required to overcome them. Bronner however, seems to argue that this lack of normative instruction somehow points to a rehabilitation of enlightenment ideals, as understood in opposition to the counter-enlightenment, which in turn seems to be a conservative critique of liberalism. This seems a bit quick indeed, and strangely unrelated in the way he presents it. He doesn't actually seem to engage the first generation of critical theory, as much as he is regressing past them into a pre-Hegelian state of ahistorical affirmation, lastly in order to defend the liberal pretence which Adorno/Horkheimer have exposed.
This truly feels like a reduction of critical potential. At best, it seems to allow for a liberal concept of justice with a set of normative criteria to articulate social injustices, however, without questioning the institutional embeddedness of these criteria in a particular type of society. Criticism no longer seems to be understood as a reflective moment of a rationality that is rooted in the historical process. Doesn't this blind the idea of capitalism as being a cause for the transformation of social rationality, or even, eclipse the notion of instrumental reason altogether?
And how about Habermas' Kantian "project" in international constitutionalism? Isn't this "project" ignorant of how Kantian idealism essentially reified Protestant morality and economic rationality in the institutions of the rising bourgeoisie? Can we afford to ignore Hegelmarxist objections in our discourse of modernity?
there seems to be a lot of this around these days, usually with 911 mentioned in the first paragraph...
Iraq extends al-Jazeera ban and raids offices
Luke Harding in Baghdad, Monday September 6, The Guardian
Iraqi security officers stormed al-Jazeera's Baghdad offices and sealed the newsroom with red wax at the weekend after the US-backed interim government banned the Arabic television station from broadcasting in the country.
The raid followed a decision by the prime minister, Ayad Allawi, to close the station temporarily in August because of its apparent failure to support the US occupation. Officials said al-Jazeera had now been shut indefinitely because it had ignored the original ban.
2 September 2004 --- The Institute of Race Relations published a catalogue that details how hundreds of Muslims have been arrested under terrorism powers before being released without charge; how the special powers granted by parliament to tackle terrorism are being deployed in other spheres, such as in routine criminal investigations or in the policing of immigration; how the media have become 'embedded' in a process that leads to the stigmatisation of Muslims as terrorists
Anti-migrant roar ends in whimper, Arun Kundnani, 8 July 2004,
Earlier this year, the Daily Express dedicated numerous front pages to the threat of '1.6 million Gipsies' who were 'ready to flood in' to Britain on 1 May, when the European Union was expanded. Today, an article on page eight of the paper admits that only 10,000 have come.
'dad's army' style war imagery used to warn readers of the impending invasion.
very interesting speech from Ted Honderich, The Way Things Are
interesting reflections on equality, freedom and the absurdity of 'hierarchical' democracy, plus his 'principle of humanity' (taking rational steps to get people out of 'bad lives'). covers broad spectrum of ideas, although the transcription of the speech is quite shit with some odd syntax going on it places, it's definitely worth a read...
Small Group of Dedicated Rich People Change the World
NEW YORK—Cynics often say that one man can't make a difference in a huge and complicated world. But this week in New York, a few tremendously rich and powerful men have given those naysayers reason to reconsider their views. At the Republican National Convention, which concludes Thursday, a handful of dedicated men will change the world...
This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.
in the 1970's a private cinema in London was raided for showing the film
Four men of power, referred to as the President, the Duke, the Bishop, and the Magistrate, agree to marry each other's daughters as the first step in a debauched ritual. With the aid of several young male collaborators, they kidnap sixteen young men and women (eight male, eight female), and take them to a palace near Marzabotto. With them are four middle-aged women, also collaborators, whose function will be to recount various arousing stories for the men of power, and who will in turn exploit their victims sexually and sadistically.
The film depicts the three days spent at the palace, during which time the four men of power devise increasingly abhorrent tortures and humiliations for their own pleasure. In one of the film's most infamous scenes, a young woman is forced to eat the feces of the President; later, the rest of the victims are presented with a giant meal of human feces. (The "feces" was created with chocolate sauce and orange marmalade, which ironically enough made it quite palatable to the actors.) At the end of the three days, the victims that have not chosen to collaborate with their tormentors are murdered in various gruesome ways: scalping, branding, having tongues and eyes cut out.
Brilliantly rude French porn from 1905-1930, all in black and white with an endless succession of short scenarios featuring threesomes, dogs nurses, nuns and prostitutes.
"It is quite boring actually, although it is quite explicit. It is a sequence of short films and they tend to get a bit repetitive, although they have tried to bring in a dog, and then some nuns, to make it more interesting." Commenting on concern for the animal’s welfare he is quick to claim that the animal is not being abused, adding: "It is not forced to do anything. It appears to be a willing partner."
It features a dozen hardcore shorts made between 1905 and 1930 which Reilhac says show that the modern porn industry "did not invent anything - everything had already been filmed by our great-grandparents".
Rev John Tait of Pilrig St Paul’s Church says the film sounds [?] "disgusting" and brands any move to show it "unacceptable". He is calling for the clergy to be involved in the decision on whether or not to screen the film, but adds: "I do not believe that it should be shown in a cinema."
And Rev James Dewar of Juniper Green adds: "I don’t think it is good or right for people to see this kind of film . . . I should think that the Christian view in Edinburgh is that it should not be shown."
Inglan then, Inglan now, Inglan tomorrow- progress? nil points!