Archive for the ‘Morbid symptoms’ Category
by Juan Cruz Ferre
President Trump gave the order to open a new front in the Syrian war Thursday evening. The US Navy launched 59 Tomahawk missiles hitting the ground at Al Shayrat airfield in Syria, site from where the chemical weapons were allegedly launched.
This marks a qualitative shift in the US policies towards the country since the civil war started and a stark departure from Trump’s own campaign promises of trying to collaborate with Russia to curb the Islamic State.
The situation escalated after the use of chemical weapons on Tuesday in the opposition-held province of Idlib, killing 80 people. France and the UK blamed Assad’s regime for the chemical attack, while Russia accused armed opposition groups of keeping chemical weapons stored in facilities bombed by the Syrian air force.
With a disingenuous rhetoric of defending the children from Assad’s regime, Trump ordered the direct airstrikes Thursday evening, marking a break with the previous policy on Syria of no formal military intervention in the government-held territory, while maintaining covert military and financial support of opposition militias, and direct bombing of the areas in control of ISIS.
Trump laid the ground for a military intervention early (more…)
In a recent longer article on two by-elections in Britain and their meaning for politics there, Kenan Malik made the following point/s about the Labour Party in Britain:
“At the heart of its crisis lies the question: What is the Labour Party for?
“Labour lost its status as the party of the working class long ago. A recent opinion poll on party popularity found that among working-class voters, Labour had fallen far below the Conservatives and even into third place behind UKIP. Over the past 30 years, Labour, like many social-democratic parties, has transformed itself into a party appealing primarily to the metropolitan middle class, a large proportion of which voted to remain in the European Union. In the wake of the referendum, many such supporters are switching allegiance to the Liberal Democrats, the most pro-European of British political parties. One poll suggested that the Liberal Democrats could overtake Labour at the next general election.
“The trouble with Labour is that the party simply no longer (more…)
The article below first appeared in issue #14 of revolution magazine, dated Xmas 2000/March 2001. The introduction to the article stated that it argued “Trendy liberal race relations nostrums are more about social control than emancipation”. Footnotes have been added for this re-publication.
by Philip Ferguson
From cultural safety in nursing training to the banning of vegetables from primary school play groups – use of vegetables to make, for example, potato stamps is now regarded as ‘culturally insensitive’ because ‘traditional’ Maori society didn’t use spuds for such frivolous activities – Maori culture appears to be increasingly important and respected.
Virtually everyone from the far left through to much of the National Party (with the exception of the minor-league redneck element typified by the now-retired John Banks) appears to be in favour of cultural diversity and the ‘empowerment of Maori.
Yet, as has been noted in this magazine before, the cultural revival coincides with a worsening of the actual material conditions of the majority of Maori (see, in particular, revolution #7) and the collapse of old forms of collective class organisation. It is in this situation that some Maori have retreated into idealised versions of the past. This retreat coincides with an interest on the part of the ruling class in finding new forms through which to mediate conflicting interests and establish social control in the midst of the decay of society itself.
Changing ruling class ideology
The ruling class ideology today is clearly not the one which existed in the decades before 1984 and was reflected in commitment to the welfare state, monoculturalism and the kind of old-fashioned patriotism and nationalism epitomised by powerful right-wing groups like the Returned Servicemen’s Association (RSA).
Today’s ruling class, for instance, actively promotes multiculturalism, liberal pluralism and has no problem with homosexuality and other things that were taboo in the past. A lot of formal legal inequality has been abolished as it was an obstacle to the needs of a new round of capital accumulation and the new style of managing an increasingly fragmented society.
For someone seen as right-wing economically, such as recent National Party prime minister Jenny Shipley, ‘respect for difference’ is a key principle, as she made clear when (more…)
by The Spark
Regina Elsea was killed last year when the robot she was trying to repair suddenly moved and crushed her. She was working for Ajin USA, a car parts company, earning $8.50 an hour.
Chambers County, where the company was located, offered tax breaks and other financial aid to companies to locate there. Encouraged by such free taxpayer-backed money, car companies, with their high-tech robots and technologies, started to move to the region. People were hired, but most of the wages remained very low. In addition, much of the work was supplied through staffing agencies and was temporary.
Elsea was not an Ajin employee. She was employed through a (more…)