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Living in the End Times According to Slavoj Zizek‬‏

Related:  Empire, Capitalism, Neo-liberalism, Corporatocracy, Control

Slavoj Zizek honors BDS call on trip to Israel/Palestine Zizek in conversation with Khaled Hourani and Remco de Blaaij on the implications, possibilities and dangers of Picasso in Palestine. Filmed on 22 June 2011 in Ramallah at the International Art Academy Palestine. The organizers of philosopher Slavoj Zizek‘s events in Israel/Palestine issued the following press release: World-renowned philosopher, Slavoj Zizek of Slovenia, had yesterday concluded a week-long visit to the region. During his week’s visit, Zizek delivered a three-day seminar in Ramallah on the topic of Cinema and Politics, along with celebrated film producer and Focus Features CEO, James Schamus. At the end of the seminar, aimed to support Palestinian young artists and the Palestinian struggle for liberation, Zizek delivered a public talk in a Tel Aviv independent bookstore, Tolaat Sfarim, in honor of the forthcoming book of Israeli-American film-maker, writer & BDS advocate Udi Aloni, entitled What Does a Jew Want? Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

The new propaganda is liberal. The new slavery is digital What is modern propaganda? For many, it is the lies of a totalitarian state. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her epic films that glorified the Nazis. She told me that the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above”, but on the “submissive void” of the German public. Today, we prefer to believe that there is no submissive void. Edward Said described this wired state in Culture and Imperialism as taking imperialism where navies could never reach. Today’s “message” of grotesque inequality, social injustice and war is the propaganda of liberal democracies. Whereas a generation ago, dissent and biting satire were allowed in the “mainstream”, today their counterfeits are acceptable and a fake moral zeitgeist rules. The militarist violence perpetrated against hundreds of thousands of nameless men, women and children by “our” governments is never a crime against humanity. Hollywood has returned to its cold war role, led by liberals.

Exceptionally Mediocre on a Global Scale America the Beautiful! America the Greatest! We’re No. 1, right? (Image: Leo Reynolds/Flickr)Absolutely, naturally, and indisputably. At least that’s the theocratic pronouncement of far-right-wing nativists who preach the dogma of American “exceptionalism.” Never mind that on many crucial measures of national achievements, our Good Ol’ U.S. of A has slipped in recent years. For example, the U.S. rate of educational improvement — a bedrock indicator of a nation’s future ability to thrive — has tumbled to 25th place among rich and newly developing nations. Not only does that place us behind such education powerhouses as Germany. Yes, America remains the world’s richest nation. Health care? In the past century, America became great — not by merely believing in some hocus-pocus exceptionalism, but by achieving greatness through deliberate and determined public investments in the common good. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

John Nichols and Robert McChesney: Progressives Ask for Too Little, Not Too Much in Age of Plutocratic Rule (Image: Nation Books)Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) writes of the new book Dollarocracy, by John Nichols and Robert McChesney: With this book, John Nichols and Bob McChesney invite Americans to examine the challenges facing America in new ways, and to fully recognize the threat that the combination of big money and big media poses to the promise of self-government. They paint a daunting picture, rich in detail based on intense reporting and groundbreaking research. Truthout recently discussed with Nichols and McChesney the daunting challenge of maintaining a vibrant democracy when wealth can buy the media, the elections and the government. Please help sustain progressive media. MARK KARLIN: You refer in your introduction to the "money-and-media election complex." ROBERT MCCHESNEY: No. By Dollarocracy, we are going large and offering that as a more accurate term for America today than democracy. Understood this way, democracy was viewed suspiciously, if not explicitly hated, by elites.

Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Fascism (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)In "Policing the Crisis," the classic 1978 study conducted by noted socialist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall and several colleagues, the authors show how the restructuring of capitalism as a response to the crisis of the 1970s - which was the last major crisis of world capitalism until the current one hit in 2008 - led in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to an "exceptional state," by which they meant a situation in which there was an ongoing breakdown of consensual mechanisms of social control and a growing authoritarianism. They wrote: This is an extremely important moment: the point where, the repertoire of hegemony through consent having been exhausted, the drift towards the routine use of the more repressive features of the state comes more and more prominently into play. This is an accurate description of the current state of affairs. The current crisis The system is fast reaching the ecological limits of its reproduction. A global police state

Criminalized poor are swelling Britain's slave labor private prisons Click! Another notch on the ratchet turning the UK from civilization to fascism this week as Britain's Justice minister, Chris Grayling, announced ten year jail sentences for those who claim too much state benefit. The latest statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that £1.3bn was fraudulently claimed in 2012/13. Tax Justice Network figures estimating tax fraud by the super-rich at £60bn, which is around 50 times greater, seem to have 'evaded' Grayling; as has the estimated five times greater figure of £10bn in unclaimed benefits. The sad fact is simply that tyrants are running the show and rather than pay their fair share they intend to squeeze the poor until the pips squeak. Most government legal aid has also been cut off this year while destitute squatters who manage to find a derelict or empty home to spend the night have also been turned into criminals for the first time in British history. At 15% Britain has more private prisons than anywhere else in Europe.

Revealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves' | Global development Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar's preparations to host the 2022 World Cup. This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022. According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. The investigation also reveals: • Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project. • Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

"Losing" the World: American Decline in Perspective, Part 1 Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated -- Japan's attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example. Others are ignored, and we can often learn valuable lessons from them about what is likely to lie ahead. Right now, in fact. At the moment, we are failing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's decision to launch the most destructive and murderous act of aggression of the post-World War II period: the invasion of South Vietnam, later all of Indochina, leaving millions dead and four countries devastated, with casualties still mounting from the long-term effects of drenching South Vietnam with some of the most lethal carcinogens known, undertaken to destroy ground cover and food crops. The prime target was South Vietnam. There are important lessons in all this for today, even apart from another reminder that only the weak and defeated are called to account for their crimes. The Iraq war is an instructive case. Gauging American Decline

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