Radical media, politics and culture.

Analysis & Polemic

Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution
Martyna Starosta

My friend Iva Rad and I just finished a video about the ongoing Wall Street Occupation which started last Saturday, September 17:

We want to share insights into the formation of a new social movement as it is still taking shape in real time. The video was shot during the 5th and 6th day of the occupation.

This idea to take over a public square in New York's financial district was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia which most of us were following online. Despite of the corporate media's effort to silence the protests, and Yahoo's attempt to censor e-mail communication, the occupation is quickly growing in numbers and spreading to other cities in the US and abroad. Please forward our video to like-minded people via email, facebook, twitter - and make the voices of dissent circulate.

The Fiction of the Creative Industries
Florian Cramer

[This text was written for the emergency issue of the journal "Open"
by the Dutch Foundation for Art and the Public Space (Stichting Kunst
en Openbare Ruimte / SKOR) SKOR/Open is one of the arts organizations
to lose their funding in the Netherlands. The complete
(Dutch-language) emergency issue of Open can be downloaded from:

The German artist Gerhard Merz said in 1991 that "creativity is for
hairdressers".[^1] Professional artists and designers never had a high
opinion of the word "creative" and the people bearing it on their
business cards, from creative directors to creative consultants and
creativity trainers. An exception perhaps was Merz' colleague at the
Dusseldorf Academy of Fine Art, Joseph Beuys. Anticipating much of
today's community art, he embraced the notion of creativity in its
broadest sense and sanctioned any type of socially constructive work
as art. And Merz, while making a sound point against romanticized
artistic subjectivity and the overall stupidity of the word
"creative", was a highbrow art snob dismissing the lower crafts.

Two Aspects of Austerity

What are we to make of the current round of austerity? Should we believe Keynesians like Paul Krugman, when they argue that capitalists are acting against their own best interests in calling for cuts? Are government finances really under stress, or is it all just a ploy to undermine the last remaining gains won by workers' struggles? Some members of Endnotes throw in their hats...

New York as the Occupied Territories
Mark LeVine

As the US security state grows and civil rights and liberties erode, Osama bin Laden gets the last laugh. A recently exposed decade-long relationship between the CIA and NYPD that shows how the two agencies have worked together to monitor Muslim communities in New York has alarmed lawyers and analysts

Only two weeks before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Associated Press has broken a story that reminds us of just how much America has changed during the last decade, and how the government - and as important, some of the country's most powerful corporations - routinely intrude into the lives of communities and individuals in a manner that would few would have thought imaginable the day before the planes struck the World Trade Center.

After a lengthy investigation, the Associated Press has published a story detailing a highly secretive decade-long relationship between the CIA and the New York Police Department (NYPD), in which the two agencies have worked together in "a massive covert programme to monitor the Muslim communities" living in the New York metropolitan area and surrounding regions.

Dignified and Undignified Rage: Brief Notes on a Pending Invitation, the UK riots, and Our Collective Failure to Construct Revolutionary Responses to the Global Crisis
Kolya Abramsky

Up there, they intend to repeat their history.
They once again want to impose on us their calendar of death, their geography of destruction.
When they are not trying to strip us of our roots, they are destroying them.
They steal our work, our strength.
They leave our world, our land, our water, and our treasures without people, without life.
The cities pursue and expel us.
The countryside dies and we along with it.
Lies become governments and dispossession is the weapon of their armies and police.
In the world, we are illegal, undocumented, unwanted.
We are pursued.
Women, young people, children, the elderly die in death and die in life.
And up there they preach to us resignation, defeat, surrender, and abandonment.
Down here we are being left with nothing.
Except rage.
And dignity.[1]

With these words “the men, women, children, and elderly of the Zapatista Liberation Army in Mexico convoked all the rebellious of Mexico and the World” to attend the World’s First Festival of Dignified Rage, under the theme “Another World, Another Path: Below and to the Left”. Coincidentally, or not, the call was issued on the very same day that Lehmann Brothers bank, metaphorically, went up in flames, September 15th 2008.

Nearly 3 years later, in mid August 2011, the UK exploded in nearly a week of urban war. Sparked by the killing of a young Black man at the hands of the police, London and other major (and also not so major) cities proceeded to burn in the worst riots the country has seen in decades. A tinder box, waiting for a spark. And, though not directly related, it was nonetheless impossible not to notice the fact that the riots took place exactly the same time as the world’s stock markets once again found themselves hurtling towards a free fall.

Understanding the Present-Day World Economic Crisis
An Eco-Socialist Approach
Saral Sarkar

The current economic crisis that, roughly speaking, began in January 2008 and is, in July 2010, still going on, has shaken the world. Politicians, economists, and publicists are using superlatives to describe it, It has been described as the severest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Seen superficially, similar, though not equally severe, crises have also taken place in the past few decades. There have been share market crashes, bank failures, crises in the finance market, credit crunches, strong recessions, state insolvencies etc. I have described them in my book Die Krisen des Kapitalismus (2010).

But the scale, depth and spread of the current crisis has been so great, that all concerned got panic. Many observers feared for the survival of capitalism. The question came up: is it only another crisis in capitalism, or is it the crisis of capitalism that Marxists, communists, socialists and other critics of capitalism have been waiting for since long? At least on one point all agree. Capitalism will never be the same again as it has been before the crisis, i.e. unbridled globalized neo-liberal capitalism will henceforth be bridled, more or less. That work has already begun.

Anarchist, Liberal and Authoritarian Enlightenments: Notes From the Arab Spring
Mohammed A. Bamyeh

The Arab spring, as far as we can see, appears to require no guardian intellectual authority, no political leadership, no organized parties. In fact even after revolutionary success, those elements still fail to materialize: there is no party of the revolution anywhere, no leader emerges to embody its historical spirit, and intellectuals still ponder the meaning of revolutions that most of them endorsed but none expected. Furthermore, these apparent absences—political, organizational, intellectual--were not due to any unfamiliarity with parties, leaders, ideologues or ideologies of revolt, for all of those have been tried before.

A revolution is an experiment in enlightenment. Experiments, as we know, may succeed, fail, or suggest revisions in their method, sometimes a reconsideration of what they are supposed to discover. 19th century revolutionary thought in Europe is often traced to the Enlightenment critique of the arbitrariness of absolute power, and to the Enlightenment's elaboration of the creative capacity of human will, reason, and freedom. Since these philosophical propositions were social in their implications, they could only be verified (or amended, or abandoned) only with the aid of grand experiments in the political, cultural and economic realms.

Preliminary Balance Sheet of the 13-Days Sit-Down Strike at Maruti Suzuki Factory in Manesar/Gurgaon, India
Guragon Workers News

From 4th to 17th of June around 2,000 young workers engaged in a wildcat sit-down strike at Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar [1]. With the following text we hope to contribute to the necessary debate about this important strike and invite friends and comrades, particularly in Delhi area, to share their experiences and views. Before we go into chronological details of the strike we try to provide a rough political summary.

It was an important strike in local terms. The two Maruti assembly plants coordinate hundreds of local supplying factories [2], the Manesar plant dominates a new industrial area of major importance. There has been silence at Maruti Suzuki for more than a decade: the workers in Gurgaon plant have been silenced by the lock-out in 2000/01 [3], and they did not join the strike in June. The Manesar plant was opened in 2006/07, but the young and casualised work-force had not found their voice as yet.

Austerity is Prison
Anticut 3?

Now, finally, the money is gone. The world has run out of future, used it up, wasted it on the grotesque fantasies of the rich, on technologies of death and alienation, on dead cities. Everywhere the same refrain, the same banners and headlines: there is nothing left for you. From the US to Greece, from Chile to Spain, whatever human face the State might have had: gone. The State is no longer a provider of education or care, jobs or housing. It is just a police force, a prison system, a bureaucracy with guns. . .

Sometimes, maybe, we get treated to some political theater: faked expressions of concern or outrage from the puffy, grimacing faces. But the result is always the same –in Oakland, in Sacramento, in Washington, in the offices of the IMF –whatever the owners of wealth want, they get. The rest of us are sacrificed on the altar of the bottom line. No money on which to retire after a lifetime of crushing work. No money to go to college. No money for the grade schools and high schools, which every day look more and more like prisons. No money for the people maimed, sickened and driven insane by this unbearable society.

We could go through the new California budget line by line, but you basically already know what it contains. It’s not a budget but a bludgeon. Every line says the same thing: Fuck you. Die.

Happy Birthday, America
James Howard Kunstler

Do you, too, sense the dread abiding in our annual celebration of
national wonderfulness? Outside today's barbeque bubble the dark shapes
of wild events loom, exciting primal fears of unresolved woe and
travail. Yesterday, I saw a man on a back street of a small town with
spider webs tattooed on his elbows and a screaming skull on the back of
his neck. America, meet your new normal: a citizenry of exterminating
angels. Our political exertions mean nothing to them. They think Ronald
Reagan was the offspring of John Wayne and Minnie Mouse and the House of
representatives is a reality TV show about home improvement. Once they
are on the loose, even Rush Limbaugh and other like-minded jingo creeps
of the airwaves will despair.


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