background preloader

Read Later

Facebook Twitter

Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist | News. In 2008, capitalism had its second global spasm. The financial crisis set off a chain reaction that pushed Europe into a downward spiral that continues to this day. Europe’s present situation is not merely a threat for workers, for the dispossessed, for the bankers, for social classes or, indeed, nations. No, Europe’s current posture poses a threat to civilisation as we know it. If my prognosis is correct, and we are not facing just another cyclical slump soon to be overcome, the question that arises for radicals is this: should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising European capitalism? To me, the answer is clear. For this view I have been accused, by well-meaning radical voices, of being “defeatist” and of trying to save an indefensible European socioeconomic system.

Why a Marxist? Both electricity and labour can be thought of as commodities. HEARTHSTONE (Honest Game Trailers) Se connecter à Facebook | Facebook. Info-communism? Ownership and freedom in the digital economy | Mueller. King Leopold's Ghost. King Leopold's Ghost (1998) is a best-selling popular history book by Adam Hochschild that explores the exploitation of the Congo Free State by King Leopold II of Belgium between 1885 and 1908, as well as the atrocities that were committed during that period. The book aims to increase public awareness of crimes committed by European colonial rulers in Africa. It was refused by nine of the ten U.S. publishing houses to which an outline was submitted, but became an unexpected bestseller and won the prestigious Mark Lynton History Prize for literary style. It also won the 1999 Duff Cooper Prize. By 2013, more than 600,000 copies were in print in a dozen languages.

The book is the basis of a 2006 documentary film of the same name, directed by Pippa Scott and narrated by Don Cheadle.[2] Title[edit] The title is adopted from the 1914 poem "The Congo", by Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay. Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost, Burning in Hell for his hand-maimed host. Content[edit] Scholarship[edit] Joint statement of the academic delegation to Rojava. Last December, an international delegation of scholars visited Rojava to learn about the revolution, gender liberation and democratic self-government.

The battle over Kobani, which began in the summer of 2014, has brought to the world’s attention the Kurdish resistance to the brutal forces that call themselves Islamic State (IS or ISIS). Contrary to the expectations of many, the defense forces have succeeded in fending off the attacks not only of ISIS, but also the al-Nusra Front and the Assad regime over the last two and a half years. Less well known, however, is the fact that residents of the predominantly Kurdish areas of northern and northeastern Syria have established themselves as a new political entity they call Rojava, comprising three autonomous cantons, one of which is Kobani. There they have undertaken, to all appearances, a social and political revolution, characterized by remarkable efforts towards gender liberation and direct democratic self-government. January 15, 2015:

The False Friends of Kobanê. An Assyrian fighter at a martyrs’ cemetery near Hassake, a city in northeast Syria. The accompanying photo series was produced by Roman Kutzowitz in October 2014 from the autonomous region of Rojava. For nearly four months now, heavily armed Islamic State (IS) militants have been laying siege to the city of Kobanê in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). Another IS massacre was initially feared. But the homegrown defense units of Kobanê, despite being hopelessly outmatched militarily, have been able to repel IS incursions for a surprisingly long time — and for much of this time without help.

However, with the questionably timed expansion of military assistance from the United States and the opening of Turkish territory to Peshmerga forces from Iraqi Kurdistan, the tide appears to be turning. After a wave of solidarity demonstrations for Kobanê all across Europe in October and November, international attention on the region noticeably abated with the arrival of the Peshmerga reinforcements. Ireland’s Resurgent Left. November protest against water charges in Dublin. William Murphy / Flickr Throughout the past fall and again in December, people took to the streets in numbers rarely seen in Ireland. On December 9, organizers said there were 100,000 people marching in Dublin, 2 percent of the Irish Republic’s population of 4.5 million.

The impetus for the biggest protest movement in a generation — and perhaps since independence from Britain — is the Irish government’s plan to institute a new tax on water, ranging from €176 to as much as €500, depending on the size of the household. The demonstrations are creating the conditions for a seismic shift in Irish politics. The resistance has often taken the form of direct action. A delegation of Detroit residents, who are going through their own water crisis, observed the “military precision” with which Irish water protesters are halting the installations.

The demographics at the protests cut across a large swath of Irish society. And then it all fell apart. Birth of Our Power. Birth of Our Power is an epic novel set in Spain, France, and Russia during the heady revolutionary years 1917–1919. Serge's tale begins in the spring of 1917, the third year of mass slaughter in the blood-and-rain-soaked trenches of World War I.

When the flames of revolution suddenly erupt in Russia and Spain, Europe is "burning at both ends. " Although the Spanish uprising eventually fizzles, in Russia the workers, peasants, and common soldiers are able to take power and hold it. Serge’s “tale of two cities” is constructed from the opposition between Barcelona, the city “we” could not take, and Petrograd, the starving, beleaguered capital of the Russian Revolution besieged by counter-revolutionary Whites. Between the romanticism of radicalized workers awakening to their own power in a sun-drenched Spanish metropolis to the grim reality of workers clinging to power in Russia’s dark, frozen revolutionary outpost. Praise: “Nothing in it has dated. . . . About the Contributors: Makes me feel like something's wrong with me • stop using the term "trans*" with a * About that often misunderstood asterisk – Practical Androgyny. Recently this post by Natalie Reed on the use of ‘trans*’ was proving controversial among many of the nonbinary and genderqueer people I follow on Twitter.

I’ve talked about ‘trans*’ before, most recently when answering the Beyond The Binary panel, question 4. I personally have mixed feelings about words involving punctuation marks, especially ones that confuse search functions and hashtags, look like footnotes and don’t sound any different when spoken (unless you say ‘trans star’). I also strongly feel that ‘trans’ should be able to include everyone who’s in any way gender variant, genderqueer or gender role nonconforming (I’m firmly in the Leslie Feinburg Trans Liberation camp on this one). I’ve tried in the past to write resources to help keep trans and transgender the inclusive umbrella terms I feel they were meant to be. Why people felt the need to add the asterisk I don’t believe that ‘trans*’ has done more to push people out of ‘trans’ than make people feel included.

So what now? The Brain and Gender Dysphoria | TranScience Project. Sarah J. Lewis (Volunteer Researcher) Do trans-women have female brains? What about trans-men?. Reality is a little more complicated than the question suggests. The first study of its kind was conducted by Zhou et al (1995)[1]. A follow up study by Kruijver et al (2000)[2] confirmed the findings and provided greater insight.

The central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) is sexually dimorphic. A paper by Chung et al (2000)[3] studied how the volume of the BSTc varied with age in both male and female subjects. In Luders et al. (2009)[4], 24 trans-women who hadn't started hormone-replacement therapy were studied via MRI. In contrast, Savic et al (2011)[10] did not find any sex a-typical differences in the Putaman, or other investigated areas of the brain. Two studies by Rametti et al (2011)[5][6] looked at white matter differences in both trans-men and trans-women. [1] Zhou, Jiang-Ning, Michel A. . [2] Kruijver, F. . [3] Chung, W. China in Revolt.

Few in the West are aware of the drama unfolding in today’s “epicenter of global labor unrest.” A scholar of China exposes its tumultuous labor politics and their lessons for the Left. The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism. On the one hand, it’s imagined as the competitive victor of capitalist globalization, the conquering juggernaut whose rise spells defeat for the working classes of the rich world. What hope is there for the struggles of workers in Detroit or Rennes when the Sichuanese migrant is happy to work for a fraction of the price?

At the same time, Chinese workers are depicted as the pitiable victims of globalization, the guilty conscience of First World consumers. Passive and exploited toilers, they suffer stoically for our iPhones and bathtowels. For parts of the rich-world left, the moral of these opposing narratives is that here, in our own societies, labor resistance is consigned to history’s dustbin. On the making and making up of Welsh history: A response to David Melding, Robert Stradling and Tim Williams. Richard Wyn Jones responds to recent discussions over his book ‘the Fascist Party in Wales?’. October 29th, 2014 Introduction: On interpretation Historical writing is always permeated by questions of interpretation.

A common place of every ‘Introduction to Historiography’ course the whole University-world over is that ‘facts’ do not simply speak for themselves. Historians must rather adjudge what evidence is to be regarded as relevant to the historical issue or problem that they are addressing – an inevitably interpretive process. How and in what ways these pieces of evidence relate to each other is also to a significant degree a matter of interpretation. Such disagreements and/or elaborations are the meat and drink of scholarly debate and any author would consider himself fortunate indeed to find his work subjected to such generous and thoughtful interrogation. Beyond the smears: Taking Tim Williams seriously Fascism Anti-Semitism Anti-Catholicism I kid you not, indeed.

Origins of the police - David Whitehouse. Excellent text examining the creation of the first police forces, which took place in England and the US in just a few decades in the mid-19th century. And explaining that they were not brought into being to prevent crime or protect the public, but primarily to control crowds: the working class, white and black. In England and the United States, the police were invented within the space of just a few decades—roughly from 1825 to 1855. The new institution was not a response to an increase in crime, and it really didn’t lead to new methods for dealing with crime.

The most common way for authorities to solve a crime, before and since the invention of police, has been for someone to tell them who did it. Besides, crime has to do with the acts of individuals, and the ruling elites who invented the police were responding to challenges posed by collective action. . — strikes in England, — riots in the Northern US, — and the threat of slave insurrections in the South. But they didn’t have cops. Celtic History. General Celtic Info The Celts dominated Mid and Western Europe for a thousand years. But it is only recently that the importance of Celtic influence on the cultural, linguistic and artistic development of Europe. The Celts as an identifiable race or ethnic group have long since disappeared, except in places such as Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.

The Celts transmitted their culture orally, never writing down history or facts. This accounts for the extreme lack of knowledge about them prior to their contact with the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. They were generally well educated, particularly on topics such as religion, philosophy, geography and astronomy. The bravery of the Celts in battle is legendary. This page is quite lengthy so here are some jump points: Early Europe Hallstatt culture La Tene culture Celtic homelands The Golden Age The Celts and Rome The Celts and the Germans Celtic religion The fall of the Celtic empire Modern Celts Celtic art Celtic Art. Love Ideologically.