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September 24 2019

mr-absentia

Abandon illusion that Iran can be defeated by pressure: Zarif to US

«Trump’s goal has been to get another deal as he has already described the JCPOA as "the worst deal ever negotiated.” The White House position has been that maximum pressure will continue until Iranian officials accept to sit at the negotiating table.

Iranian officials, however, say it was Washington that left the JCPOA last year although the international and multilateral deal was endorsed by the UN Security Council in the form of a resolution. Tehran says talks with Washington are impossible as the latter is pressing ahead with its hostile policy and refuses to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

In an interview with Malaysia's official news agency Bernama in August, the Iranian foreign minister said the country will not renegotiate its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, but is open to talks on finding ways to implement the existing accord.

"We are ready to talk and consult with others on how to best implement this deal. We are talking about Europe coming to comply with its own obligations under the deal," Zarif said.

Elsewhere in his interview with the NPR, Iran's foreign minister said, “The United States can have a much better deal with Iran if they started talking to us based on respect, based on mutual respect and based on moving forward.”

Referring to a forthcoming meeting between Iran and the four remaining members of the P5+1 group – the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – next Wednesday, Zarif said, “Four of the five permanent members [of the UN Security Council] plus Germany will be seated around the table along with me and the High Representative of the European Union.”

He added, “There is an empty chair there for the United States, but there is a ticket for that chair and that is to be law abiding.”»

September 22 2019

mr-absentia

Between Washington and Beijing

«Hong Kong exists between two global ambitions — Chinese state capitalism and Western neoliberalism. To fight for self-determination is to confront both, and to do so, Hong Kongers must engage internationally, seeking allies not only in China and the West, but beyond all borders in order to build a broad anticapitalist movement.

This is especially important in combating Chinese colonial influence through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative, which promotes new forms of economic imperialism and infringes on people’s right to self-determination. Kenyan coal miners and indigenous groups in Southeast Asia like the Dumagat people are examples of communities at the front-lines of the struggle against Chinese capital and the exploitation of their land and labor. As Hong Kongers in the city and abroad, we hope to learn from and foreground these voices.

Furthermore, as Hong Kong looks to the United States for support, we urge protesters to refuse alliances with right-wingers like Marco Rubio and instead build connections between oppressed groups. Police brutality is one example of an issue that creates an opening for solidarity. Considering how opposition to violence from the Hong Kong Police Force is now at the heart of the city’s struggle, we want to draw connections between police brutality and other forms of state oppression in the United States with what’s happening in Hong Kong. We want to help build alliances between marginalized groups and facilitate a cross-border solidarity grounded in skill-sharing and meaningful dialogue.

Finally, we want to connect Hong Kong’s fight for self-determination and anticapitalist struggles to places like Kashmir, Sudan, Palestine, Tamil Eelam, Kurdistan, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Lausan 流傘 is invested in the fight to establish other forms of community not necessarily based upon nation-state sovereignty, and not based upon borders or capitalism’s imperatives. A lot more work needs to be done on this front.»

June 11 2018

mr-absentia

コンピュータ中心の世界はまもなく終わる--米VCが描く未来 - CNET Japan

2007年8月21日

--著書「21世紀の国富論」では21世紀を支える新たな技術として PUC [Pervasive and Ubiquitous Communications] という概念を提唱していますね。

パーペイシブというのは、「使っているのを感じさせない」という意味です。人間にとって必要なコミュニケーション機能を、本当に使いやすく、しかもどこでも利用できるようにするものがPUCという考え方です。

いま広く使われているコンピュータというのは文字通り(compute=計算の意味)、計算機能中心主義のアーキテクチャですから、プログラミングなど計算用途に使うには最適な道具です。しかし、インターネットが出てきてから、パソコンを計算目的で使っている人はほとんどいませんよね。Eメールなどのコミュニケーションや、それに関連して検索サービスなどを使うことがほとんどでしょう。

もともと計算機能を最適化するために作られている道具を、違う目的であるコミュニケーションのために使うとどうしても使いにくい。そうなると、人間が機械に合わせないといけなくなってくるんです。

この傾向はパソコンでなくエンタープライズ向けのシステムにも当てはまります。人間の思考パターンをコンピュータのロジックに合わせて、「余計なことは考えない」というほうが効率は上がります。ただ、こういう仕組みをクライアントからサーバまで一元的にあてはめていくと、人間にとっては非常に住みにくい世界になります。

そうではなく、もっと人の相互コミュニケーションを最適化するようなものであるべきだと考えたんです。PUCはコミュニケーションを前提に設計され、ハードウェアとソフトウェアが一体化し、直感的で使いやすいものになります。

PUCを実現するには、次世代の通信デジタル信号処理プロセッサや組み込み型のソフトウェア、ネットワークセキュリティ、PtoP型ネットワーク、ソフトウェアスイッチング、デジタルディスプレイコントローラなどが必要になります。いずれも研究開発が進んでおり、実用化が見えてきています”

--PUCの時代には、日本が世界の中心になると話しておられますね。

PUCはハードウェアとソフトウェアが融合する必要があります。ソフトウェアの性能を最大化するにはハードウェアの設計が重要になる。逆もまた真です。ハードウェアに関して現在世界で最も精密なテクノロジーを持つ国は日本です。ですから、PUCのソフトウェアを開発する企業は日本に来ざるを得ない。

ベンチャーが技術開発をする上ではテクノロジーリスクとマーケットリスクという2つのリスクがあります。テクノロジーリスクは、想定した技術が実用化するリスク、マーケットリスクはその製品が市場に受け入れられるリスクです。このうち、テクノロジーリスクは特に大きいものです。

こういったテクノロジーリスクを持つ企業を傘下に抱えると帳簿上は大きな赤字がでるので、経営が失敗しているように見えてしまう。短期的な利益を求めるファンドにとって、こういった企業への投資は避けたい。そのためいま米国では、こういった企業に投資できる人がいなくなっているんです。

PUC関連の起業家は世界中にいます。だから、研究開発はどこでやってもいいが、PUC企業の法人籍は日本に置くようにさせたいと思っています。そしてリスクキャピタルに資金を供出する場合には税制控除をする仕組みが日本にできればいい”

May 30 2018

mr-absentia

Richard Dolan Show May 14, 2018. Interview with Catherine Austin Fitts

summary: This episode of the Richard Dolan Show aired on KGRA radio May 14, 2018. It is a two-hour interview with black budget expert Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989-1993. Included in the discussion is the recent analysis by Catherine and Dr. Mark Skidmore that $21 trillion has been spent by the U.S. government without authorization -- and is essentially missing. As Catherine points out, this is enough effectively to cancel the entire debt of the United States, and it is almost certainly a low estimate. Much more is discussed in this fascinating interview, including the likelihood that at least a portion of that money is connected to a clandestine infrastructure related to the subject of UFOs.

“Brilliant interview and I do not say that often. I came away nodding a lot particularly re black budgets, a new understanding of globalists and the already afoot breakaway society. It is fully in the works.”weveneverbeenalone

March 21 2018

mr-absentia

TV interviewer: what would you do if internet use were prohibited?

high school student: I would die.

Reposted byschaaf schaaf

October 12 2017

「今回の選挙、くだらなすぎる」 投票棄権の賛同署名を集める東浩紀さんの真意とは?

“『一般意志 2.0』を読んで、思想家としてこの人はダメだ、と思ったが、ここまでダメだとは思わなかった(ほかにもダメだ、と思った理由は幾つかあるが、ここでは省略)。

Brexitは、それがくだらないと言ってイギリスは選挙をやめたか?Trumpが大統領になってしまったが、それがくだらないと言って米国は大統領選をやめたか?結果を予見できなかった、という言い訳は通用しない。そして、選挙とはそもそも何なのか、この人は分かって話をしているのだろうか。”

【インタビュー後篇】 「今の政党には選択肢がないと思っている人たちを可視化する必要がある」東浩紀さん

Reposted frompdl2h pdl2h

September 17 2017

mr-absentia
tumblr_nu27ygmWjR1qggwnvo1_500

“‘When the competition was announced to design this bridge, I was still a student. I was only 25 at the time. I didn’t even feel qualified to enter. And I assumed the project would be awarded to powerful people with connections. But Ali encouraged me. He told me: “If you design it, we will win.” So I submitted the design, and one month later I got a call. It was Ali. He told me that we’d won. I just remember staring down into an open drawer of my desk. I was excited. But I was also terrified. Designing it was one thing. Now we had to build it.’

Leila Araghian and Alireza Behzadi are the young designer and builder behind Tehran’s recently completed Tabiat Bridge. Construction of the bridge was completed in 2014 despite the difficulties of international sanctions. The bridge has become a cultural and physical centerpiece of Tehran, and Leila captured the imagination of the architecture world by winning the right to design it at the age of 26.”

— from humansofnewyork.tumblr.com (via beautyofiran)

Reposted bySkydelan Skydelan
mr-absentia
tumblr_nu2at2e7f21qggwnvo1_500

“‘My father believed that confidence was the most important thing you could teach a child. Even when I was little, he would do things to make me feel important. One of my earliest memories is a taxi driver asking my father to put me on his lap, so he could fit one more passenger. But my father insisted that I deserved my own seat. He’d bring me to work with him and trust me with jobs. He’d take apart mechanical devices and ask me to reassemble them. If I made a mistake, he’d never punish me. He’d even help me hide my report card if I made a bad grade. He was mainly concerned with building my confidence to attempt new things, so that I could always learn by doing. Now as an adult, people call me crazy for attempting things that seem “out of my depth.” This bridge is one example. Nobody is prouder of this bridge than my father. He collects all the newspaper articles.’

Leila Araghian and Alireza Behzadi are the young designer and builder behind Tehran’s recently completed Tabiat Bridge. Construction of the bridge was completed in 2014 despite the difficulties of international sanctions. The bridge has become a cultural and physical centerpiece of Tehran, and Leila captured the imagination of the architecture world by winning the right to design it at the age of 26.”

— from humansofnewyork.tumblr.com (via beautyofiran)

Reposted bySkydelanRekrut-KgingerglueablnitroventmolotovcupcakesofiasnerdanelElbenfreundSirenensangankinyouamfinkreghschaaf
mr-absentia
tumblr_nu2bm91YJl1qggwnvo1_500

“‘I was so scared when they were building it. There was always a doubt that it would work the same way that it did in my mind. When they sent me pictures of the construction, sometimes I wouldn’t even open the emails. I’d just move the images to a folder named “Bridge.” It’s surreal that this once existed in my mind. I’ve seen it one million times on a computer monitor. I know every single one of these pipes, and I remember the moment that I decided where to place them. Now I am so much smaller than something that once only existed in my imagination. I can stand inside of it. It feels like being inside a movie that you directed or a book that you wrote. And you can’t help but feel powerful.’

Leila Araghian is the young architect behind Tehran’s recently completed Tabiat Bridge. Construction of the bridge was completed in 2014 despite the difficulties of international sanctions. The bridge has become a cultural and physical centerpiece of Tehran, and Leila captured the imagination of the architecture world by winning the right to design it at the age of 26.”

— from humansofnewyork.tumblr.com (via beautyofiran)

Reposted bySkydelan Skydelan

September 14 2017

mr-absentia

Interview with Edward Snowden 'There Is Still Hope - Even for Me'

DER SPIEGEL: Attention can be like a drug.

Snowden: Yeah, for certain personality types. But for me? You have to understand that my life literally is defined by a love for privacy. The worst thing in the world for me is the idea that I will go to the grocery store and someone will recognize me.

DER SPIEGEL: Does that happen?

Snowden: Just a few days ago, I was at the Tretyakov Gallery and there was a young woman there. And this woman is like, "You are Snowden." I think she might have been German. And I said, "yeah," and she took a selfie. And do you know what? She never published it online.

Reposted fromseverak severak

July 29 2017

mr-absentia

May 20 2017

mr-absentia
RT: You’re a whistleblower yourself. What can you tell us about your personal experience? Is it a tough job?

AM [Annie Machon, former MI5 intelligence officer] : Yes, I am a whistleblower from the old school from the 1990s, the analog-era effectively. But I worked for MI5 for six years as an intelligence officer, and it was there that I met my former partner and colleague, a man called David Shayler. We saw so many things going wrong at that time - only within six years - that we decided to resign and to go public. We tried to raise our concerns on the inside, and we were just told to ‘follow orders.’ So they had no will to reform or will to correct mistakes that were committing crimes in secret.

So we went public. And under the laws of the UK, we also faced automatic arrest and imprisonment for speaking out about the crimes of the spies. So we fled the country, we went on the run for a month around Europe; we went and lived in hiding for a year in France, and we lived in exile for another two years. I was arrested; many of our friends, family, supporters, and journalists involved in the case were arrested. Shayler himself went to prison twice. First of all, when the British failed to extradite him from France in 1998 to stand trial under the Official Secrets Act of 1989, and then after he returned voluntarily to face trial in 2000. Of course, he was convicted, because there was no legal defense under the Official Secrets Act, and he went to prison again. So we both paid a very high price… to expose the crimes of the spies.
'Chelsea Manning's example of courage paved the way for Snowden & Assange' (RT Op-Edge, May 17 2017)

May 26 2015

mr-absentia

Interview with Podemos Founder: Spain’s 2-Party System Is Dying | News | teleSUR English

“After new left-wing forces took the mayoralty in Barcelona and look set to do so in Madrid, Monedero, a well-respected Spanish political scientist, said, ‘The results mean the end of the two-party system in Spain. They mean the end of a political system that has worked throughout the last 35 years … that was based, thanks to the grassroots pressure, on a certain social state, but which we began to lose in recent years with the neoliberalization of the economic model in Spain and in Europe.’

Years of tough public sector cuts and extreme free-market policies, which have left Spain with unemployment at over 20 percent, has increased discontent with the two main parties, the PSOE and the PP. Mondedero said the main aim of Podemos and its allied coalition is break this cycle and ‘put an end to the neoliberal model and to inaugurate a new political formation, characterized by grassroots participation.’

With Spain facing general elections in November, and Podemos on the rise, Monedero believes forces backing the status quo are using their influence to undermine the left-wing alternative: ‘There is a long way to go. We have broken the two-party system....but now we know that those in power will come against us with everything that they have. We are conscious that as much as possible they are going to do everything they can to ensure that we don’t win the elections. And we need to be clear that there are some very difficult months ahead.’”

“The Podemos founder addressed the media's powerful role in seeking to weaken the credibility of Podemos, mirroring what happened with the Syriza movement ahead of the Greek general elections: ‘there is not even one media outlet or one newspaper that is in favor of the alternative (political) forces.’

However, these old tactics are having less impact than previously, according to Monedero: ‘the people don’t believe the newspapers any more, they don’t believe the television. And they are getting their information through other media, through the Internet above all, where they make their own opinions.’

International unity and solidarity is key to dealing with the mainstream media attacks, Monedero argues, ‘we need to build the relations of the people of the South of Europe. Spain is to not going to solve its problems alone, just like Greece, Portugal, Italy, France, and Germany. There are many people in Germany who are also suffering. We have to build an alliance so we can reinvent Europe, which, because of neoliberal policies and the influence of Germany, has been converted into something very different from that which we had constructed in Europe after the Second World War.’ Monedero believes that Latin America's left governments show that through popular struggle and unity, neoliberalism can be overturned, ‘Latin America suffered the effects of neoliberalism before us, and it knows things that we have begun to learn.’”

May 20 2015

mr-absentia

Edward Said in an interview with Timothy Appleby (1986) on the question “Can an Arab & Jewish state coexist?”

from americawakiewakie.com (via frompalestinewithlove):

TA: Why don't you, once and for all, renounce terror?

ES: We're not in a position to renounce anything that confirms our status as essentially terrorists, which is what the Israelis have since the middle 1970s been trying to convince the world of. That all Palestinian acts of resistance are acts of terror. It's blatant hypocrisy, it's a lie, from a state that commands its bombers from a height of 10,000 feet to bomb refugee camps.

TA: Nonetheless...

ES: Nonetheless, I'm telling you about the image. Images are formed by the media, and you know as well as I do that you're not interested in covering Al Fajr [an Arab newspaper published in Jerusalem], but you do cover random outrages by individuals who attempt to blow up a bus in Israel. Have you ever actually done a body count? Have you? Have you any idea of the disparity between Israelis killed and Palestinians killed? I mean, we're talking hundreds to one...

TA: Why do you think you have such a hard time convincing anybody of this?

ES:Because we are a non-Western people from a civilization that has always been in conflict with the West. The world of Islam has always been a historical competitor, and it has never capitulated. So the one thing people don't understand is, why do you Palestinians whimper? Why don't you go away? Forget it. But we don't.

TA: Maybe time is running out.

ES: They said that five years ago [in 1981] -- the midnight hour. The fact is, every Israeli realizes they have no military option against us. What are they going to do? Kill everybody? So some of us say, WE FIGHT ON. And we keep saying, We're going to live together with you. That no matter what they do, we're a shadow.

TA: It seems quite clear the Israelis are not going to give up...

ES: It was very clear in Algeria. And they fought for what? 130 years? Then they gave up... [T]hey said that about the British in Kenya. Who could have imagined that after 300 years of colonization in India they would have left? They come and they go.

May 13 2015

mr-absentia

INTERVIEW: An 'Obvious and Conspicuous' Injustice, says Assange | News | teleSUR English

“Swedish authorities announced Friday [Mar. 13 2015] their willingness to finally interview WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief Julian Assange, but a secret U.S. investigation has trapped the insurgent publisher without charge in Ecuador's London embassy. Monday, March 16 will mark 1,000 days since Assange sought asylum there. In an exclusive interview with teleSUR English, Assange said there is growing recognition that the situation is unjust. Assange spoke with teleSUR editor Chis Spannos.”

May 04 2015

mr-absentia

UN must act on Saudi killing of civilians in Yemen: Lawyer

“... part of the problem of cluster bombs is that a lot of them do not explode, so they stay in the ground for a long period after the initial attack and then when people run into them or pick them up or kids play with them, they blow up and again you have got more deaths. That is exactly what happened in Lebanon.

One thing that should be considered is that it is actually illegal under American law for a country to use American weapons for an act of aggression. So I think the vast majority of the world community sees Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen as an act of aggression so therefore it is a violation of American law but they are not going to enforce that. They are still trying to sell weapons and they sold weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE a number of years ago.

So Human Rights Watch is very correct in drawing attention to this fact and these are horrific anti-personnel weapons that invariably kill a majority of civilians and maim women, children and innocent people and again the acquiescence of the United States is deplorable. And of course the Saudis can in no way guarantee that they are using these weapons against clearly defined military targets when the evidence is totally to the contrary and a lot of civilians are being killed and again this is in violation of American law.”

February 24 2015

mr-absentia

石堂順子さんに書簡を送ったイラン人女性にインタビュー

from IRIB Japanese Radio (2015年2月24日 山口雅代):

今年は、日本にとって非常に重苦しく辛いニュースで幕を開けることになりました。テロ組織ISISにより、日本人の2人の人質が非業の死を遂げたことは、皆様のご記憶に新しいことと思います。ラジオ日本語では先だって、フリージャーナリストの後藤健二さんのお母様・石堂順子さんに送られたイラン人女性の書簡をご紹介いたしましたが、このほどそのイラン人女性アーテフェ・タルガーニーさんを直接スタジオにお招きし、インタビューを試みました。彼女は、イスラム圏外の国民である日本人の私の質問に快く答えてくださいました。現在、このイラン人女性のインタビューを取り入れた特別番組を制作中です。どうぞ、ご期待ください。

November 13 2014

mr-absentia

October 15 2014

John Holloway on Changing the World Without Taking Power

JohnHolloway-main

John Holloway, a sociology professor in Mexico, recently gave an interview with Roar magazine suggesting how to introduce a new social and economic logic in the face of the mighty machine of neoliberal capitalism.  Holloway’s idea, recapitulating themes from his previous book and 2002 thesis, is to build “cracks” in the system in which people can relate to each other and meet their needs in non-market ways:  “We have to keep building cracks and finding ways of recognizing them, strengthening them, expanding them, connecting them; seeking confluence, or preferably, the commoning of cracks.”

This strategic approach has immediate appeal to commoners, it seems to me — even though some engagement with state power is surely necessary at some point.  Below, Holloway’s interview with by Amador Fernández-Savater. It was translated by Richard Mac Duinnsleibhe and edited by Arianne Sved of Guerrilla Translation.

In 2002, John Holloway published a landmark book: Change the World Without Taking Power. Inspired by the ‘¡Ya basta!’ of the Zapatistas, by the movement that emerged in Argentina in 2001/’02, and by the anti-globalization movement, Holloway sets out a hypothesis: it is not the idea of revolution or transformation of the world that has been refuted as a result of the disaster of authoritarian communism, but rather the idea of revolution as the taking of power, and of the party as the political tool par excellence.

Holloway discerns another concept of social change at work in these movements, and generally in every practice—however visible or invisible it may be—where a logic different from that of profit is followed: the logic of cracking capitalism. That is, to create, within the very society that is being rejected, spaces, moments, or areas of activity in which a different world is prefigured. Rebellions in motion. From this perspective, the idea of organization is no longer equivalent to that of the party, but rather entails the question of how the different cracks that unravel the fabric of capitalism can recognize each other and connect.

But after Argentina’s “que se vayan todos” came the Kirchner government, and after Spain’s “no nos representan” appeared Podemos. We met with John Holloway in the city of Puebla, Mexico, to ask him if, after everything that has happened in the past decade, from the progressive governments of Latin America to Podemos and Syriza in Europe, along with the problems for self-organized practices to exist and multiply, he still thinks that it is possible to “change the world without taking power.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::

Firstly, John, we would like to ask you where the hegemonic idea of revolution in the 20th century comes from, what it is based on. That is, the idea of social change through the taking of power.

I think the central element is labor, understood as wage labor. In other words, alienated or abstract labor. Wage labor has been, and still is, the bedrock of the trade union movement, of the social democratic parties that were its political wing, and also of the communist movements. This concept defined the revolutionary theory of the labor movement: the struggle of wage labor against capital. But its struggle was limited because wage labor is the complement of capital, not its negation.

I don’t understand the relation between this idea of labor and that of revolution through the taking of state power.

One way of understanding the connection would be as follows: if you start off from the definition of labor as wage or alienated labor, you start off from the idea of the workers as victims and objects of the system of domination. And a movement that struggles to improve the living standards of workers (considered as victims and objects) immediately refers to the state. Why? Because the state, due to its very separation from society, is the ideal institution if one seeks to achieve benefits for people. This is the traditional thinking of the labor movement and that of the left governments that currently exist in Latin America.

But this tradition isn’t the only approach to a politics of emancipation…

Of course not. In the last twenty or thirty years we find a great many movements that claim something else: it is possible to emancipate human activity from alienated labor by opening up cracks where one is able to do things differently, to do something that seems useful, necessary, and worthwhile to us; an activity that is not subordinated to the logic of profit.

These cracks can be spatial (places where other social relations are generated), temporal (“Here, in this event, for the time that we are together, we are going to do things differently. We are going to open windows onto another world.”), or related to particular activities or resources (for example, cooperatives or activities that pursue a non-market logic with regard to water, software, education, etc.). The world, and each one of us, is full of these cracks.

The rejection of alienated and alienating labor entails, at the same time, a critique of the institutional and organizational structures, and the mindset that springs from it. This is how we can explain the rejection of trade unions, parties, and the state that we observe in so many contemporary movements, from the Zapatistas to the Greek or Spanish indignados.

But it isn’t a question of the opposition between an old and a new politics, I think. Because what we see in the movements born of the economic crisis is that those two things come to the fore at the same time: cracks such as protests in city squares, and new parties such as Syriza or Podemos.

I think it’s a reflection of the fact that our experience under capitalism is contradictory. We are victims and yet we are not. We seek to improve our living standards as workers, and also to go beyond that, to live differently. In one respect we are, in effect, people who have to sell their labor power in order to survive. But in another, each one of us has dreams, behaviors and projects that don’t fit into the capitalist definition of labor.

The difficulty, then as now, lies in envisioning the relation between those two types of movements. How can that relation avoid reproducing the old sectarianism? How can it be a fruitful relation without denying the fundamental differences between the two perspectives?

Argentina in 2001 and 2002, the indignados in Greece and Spain more recently. At a certain point, bottom-up movements stall, they enter a crisis or an impasse, or they vanish. Would you say that the politics of cracks has intrinsic limits in terms of enduring and expanding?

I wouldn’t call them limits, but rather problems. Ten years ago, when I published Change the World without Taking Power, the achievements and the power of movements from below were more apparent, whereas now we are more conscious of the problems. The movements you mention are enormously important beacons of hope, but capital continues to exist and it’s getting worse and worse; it progressively entails more misery and destruction. We cannot confine ourselves to singing the praises of movements. That’s not enough.

Could one response then be the option that focuses on the state?

It’s understandable why people want to go in that direction, very understandable. These have been years of ferocious struggles, but capital’s aggression remains unchanged. I sincerely hope that Podemos and Syriza do win the elections, because that would change the current kaleidoscope of social struggles. But I maintain all of my objections with regard to the state option.

Any government of this kind entails channeling aspirations and struggles into institutional conduits that, by necessity, force one to seek a conciliation between the anger that these movements express and the reproduction of capital. Because the existence of any government involves promoting the reproduction of capital (by attracting foreign investment, or through some other means), there is no way around it. This inevitably means taking part in the aggression that is capital. It’s what has already happened in Bolivia and Venezuela, and it will also be the problem in Greece or Spain.

Could it be a matter of complementing the movements from below with a movement oriented towards government institutions?

That’s the obvious answer that keeps coming up. But the problem with obvious answers is that they suppress contradictions. Things can’t be reconciled so easily. From above, it may be possible to improve people’s living conditions, but I don’t think one can break with capitalism and generate a different reality. And I sincerely believe that we’re in a situation where there are no long-term solutions for the whole of humanity within capitalism.

I’m not discrediting the state option because I myself don’t have an answer to offer, but I don’t think it’s the solution.

Where are you looking for the answer?

Whilst not considering parties of the left as enemies, since for me this is certainly not the case, I would say that the answer has to be thought of in terms of deepening the cracks.

If we’re not going to accept the annihilation of humanity, which, to me, seems to be on capitalism’s agenda as a real possibility, then the only alternative is to think that our movements are the birth of another world. We have to keep building cracks and finding ways of recognizing them, strengthening them, expanding them, connecting them; seeking the confluence or, preferably, the commoning of the cracks.

If we think in terms of state and elections, we are straying away from that, because Podemos or Syriza can improve things, but they cannot create another world outside the logic of capital. And that’s what this is all about, I think.

Finally, John, how do you see the relation between the two perspectives we’ve been talking about?

We need to keep a constant and respectful debate going without suppressing the differences and the contradictions. I think the basis for a dialogue could be this: no one has the solution.

For the moment, we have to recognize that we’re not strong enough to abolish capitalism. By strong, I am referring here to building ways of living that don’t depend on wage labor. To be able to say “I don’t really care whether I have a job or not, because if I don’t have one, I can dedicate my life to other things that interest me and that give me enough sustenance to live decently.” That’s not the case right now. Perhaps we have to build that before we can say “go to hell, capital.”

In that sense, let’s bear in mind that a precondition for the French Revolution was that, at a certain point, the social network of bourgeois relations no longer needed the aristocracy in order to exist. Likewise, we must work to reach a point where we can say “we don’t care if global capital isn’t investing in Spain, because we’ve built a mutual support network that’s strong enough to enable us to live with dignity.”

Right now the rage against banks is spreading throughout the world. However, I don’t think banks are the problem, but rather the existence of money as a social relation. How should we think about rage against money? I believe this necessarily entails building non-monetized, non-commodified social relations.

And there are a great many people dedicated to this effort, whether out of desire, conviction or necessity, even though they may not appear in the newspapers. They’re building other forms of community, of sociality, of thinking about technology and human capabilities in order to create a new life.

John Holloway is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico. His latest book is Crack Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2010).

Originally posted at bollier.org

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The post John Holloway on Changing the World Without Taking Power appeared first on P2P Foundation.

October 12 2014

mr-absentia

‘Hostile to privacy’: Snowden urges internet users to get rid of Dropbox — RT News

“The whistleblower believes one fallacy in how authorities view individual rights has to do with making the individual forsake those rights by default. Snowden’s point is that the moment you are compelled to reveal that you have nothing to hide is when the right to privacy stops being a right – because you are effectively waiving that right.

‘When you say, “I have nothing to hide,” you’re saying, “I don’t care about this right.” You’re saying, “I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.” The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights – you don’t have to justify why you need freedom of speech.’

In that situation, it becomes OK to live in a world where one is no longer interested in privacy as such – a world where Facebook, Google and Dropbox have become ubiquitous, and where there are virtually no safeguards against the wrongful use of the information one puts there.

In particular, Snowden advised web users to ‘get rid’ of Dropbox. Such services only insist on encrypting user data during transfer and when being stored on the servers. Other services he recommends instead, such as SpiderOak, encrypt information while it’s on your computer as well.

‘We're talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy,’ Snowden said.

The same goes for social networks such as Facebook and Google, too. Snowden says they are ‘dangerous’ and proposes that people use other services that allow for encrypted messages to be sent, such as RedPhone or SilentCircle.

The argument that encryption harms security efforts to capture terrorists is flawed, even from a purely legalistic point of view, Snowden said, explaining that you can still retain encryption and have the relevant authorities requesting private information from phone carriers and internet providers on a need-to-know basis.”

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